WARNING: The details in this story may be disturbing to some readers.
A man who violently attacked and strangled a mother who was picking up her children from a central Edmonton daycare last summer has been sentenced to nine years behind bars.
Rockie Rabbit was sentenced Wednesday after previously pleading guilty to choking with intent and aggravated assault in relation to an incident in July 2021.
On July 14, 2021, a woman was standing outside the Seven Stones daycare and out-of-school care on 111 Street near 105 Avenue. It was about 3:45 p.m. and she was waiting to pick up her three children.
As she was waiting for the front door to be unlocked, police said the woman was approached by a man she didn’t know.
At the time, police said the man attempted to forcibly pull a backpack off the woman’s shoulders. He then unzipped it and attempted to reach inside, while the woman held onto the backpack.
The pair began to struggle, at which time police said the man grabbed the woman’s hair, threw her down and smashed her head against the sidewalk.
Two police officers arrived to find the suspect sitting on top of the woman, strangling her.
“Another two minutes and we may have been talking about a homicide today,” Inps. Erik Johnson said at the time.
Police said daycare staff saw the attack happening, but kept the doors locked for the safety of the children inside.
The woman was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
At the time, police were already in the area responding to a different call allegedly involving the same man trying to break into nearby vehicles.
Rabbit, who was credited for 379 days already spent in custody, also received a lifetime firearm ban.
Rabbit was also charged with robbery and failing to comply with a release order, but those were withdrawn.
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