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Suspect in downtown assaults to undergo psychiatric assessment Add to ...

An Alberta man accused of brutally attacking three Vancouver women on Friday, leaving two in critical condition, has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment.

Nicholas Alexander Osuteye, 35, is charged with three counts of attempted murder and one count each of assault and mischief in connection with Friday morning’s assaults. He appeared in Vancouver Provincial Court on Monday and is scheduled to be back in court on Jan. 9.

Mr. Osuteye, clad in red prison-issue garb, seemed alert during his brief appearance, shaking his head as Crown counsel Brian MacFarlane recalled Friday’s events, scanning the public gallery and appearing to smile at times. As discussion turned to Mr. Osuteye’s mental health, he placed his hands on his hips and looked forward.

Mr. Osuteye did not have a lawyer as of Friday and was represented by duty counsel.

Friday’s attacks began at 9:30 a.m., when an 87-year-old woman was assaulted in the 200-block of Columbia Street. At 9:50 a.m., a second woman was targeted, this time in the 700-block of Pacific Street. Minutes later, a third assault occurred across the street. Two of the women remain in hospital in critical condition.

Mr. Osuteye was arrested near BC Place shortly after the attacks, wearing only his underwear.

Vancouver police spokesman Constable Brian Montague said Mr. Osuteye had approached officers two days before the attacks, telling them he was worried about his mental state.

“He spoke with a couple of our officers and expressed concern about his medication, that he did have a mental-health condition,” Constable Montague told The Globe and Mail on Sunday. “He wanted to see a doctor and he voluntarily went to hospital to do that.”

Dan Kalla, head of the emergency department at St. Paul’s Hospital, confirmed Mr. Osuteye had been assessed there and said the hospital’s guidelines were followed.

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