Doctor speaks out after ‘vicious’ weekend assault of 75-year-old woman

CTV Windsor


Published Thursday, October 12, 2017 5:40PM EDT


Last Updated Thursday, October 12, 2017 11:49PM EDT

A 75-year old woman remains in critical condition after a “vicious” assault on Windsor’s east end.

Now, the doctor who performed surgery on the victim is speaking out, calling it the worst case of its type that he’s ever seen.

“I don’t know how this lady was injured, but it was with magnitudes of force that are just massive,” says Dr. Balraj Jhawar, a neurosurgeon at Windsor Regional Hospital’s Ouellette Campus.

He’s referring to the injuries sustained by Sara Anne Widholm, who was found unconscious Sunday morning on Oct. 8 along the Ganatchio trail in Windsor. She was rushed to hospital, where Jhawar performed two surgeries on her.

Police were able to quickly locate a person of interest and place him under arrest.

Widholm remains in intensive care, and Jhawar confirms she has suffered brain damage as a result of the incident.

“Assaulting a 75-year-old senior citizen who’s essentially defenseless in this brutal manner, the city should be outraged,” Dr. Jhawar says.

“It’s so unfortunate now that people have to think twice about taking a morning walk,” Dr. Jhawar continued. “I already have heard from many people who are going to change their lifestyles now because of this incident. And that’s just disturbing.”

Sgt. Steve Betteridge of Windsor Police says this is something the community should be outraged about, but not fearful of.

“It is a very, extremely isolated incident, very rare to have an unprovoked random attack of this nature,” Betteridge says.

And he’s not alone.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens is inviting residents to join him and members of Neighbourhood Watch, as well as Windsor police for a walk along the Ganatchio Trail this Sunday, Oct. 15.

“We’ve all heard about the wonderful woman who was attacked while walking the trail last Sunday morning,” said Mayor Dilkens, of the incident that’s left a community bewildered. “This walk is being held to show our support for Mrs. Widholm and her family, to reassure each other that our community stands together as one in times of distress, and to reaffirm that our community’s parks and trails are safe.”

The walk will begin in the Little River parking lot, at Little River Road just east of Riverdale Avenue, at 11 a.m. 

The major crimes branch continues to investigate this incident. Police say the vicious assault appears to be random in nature.

Habibullah Ahmad, 21, from Windsor, is charged with one count of aggravated assault.

Meantime, Dr. Jhawar says he’d like to see the city take a zero tolerance approach to all forms of assault.

“I don’t think people appreciate what a punch can do. A punch can kill someone.”


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