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Battleford man charged with assault after video goes viral

Homeowner posted video of assault.
battleford assault video thumbnail
A video of a First Nations man accosted in Battleford is going viral.

BATTLEFORD — Adam Lesmeister, 46, of Battleford has been charged with one count of assault after a video was posted showing an Indigenous man being attacked in Battleford. He will appear in North Battleford Provincial Court on Aug. 22

RCMP say Lesmeister was arrested the evening of July 19 in relation to an incident that happened Sunday in the yard of a home owned by lawyer Eleanor Sunchild in Battleford. Sunchild posted the video online.

Battlefords RCMP say they were dispatched to a report of an assault on the 0-100 block of 17th Street East in Battleford on Sunday, June 17 at approximately 6:50 p.m., Battleford RCMP were dispatched to a report of an assault that occurred

RCMP say investigation determined an adult male had been approached by three males he did not know. One of the three males assaulted him, but all three had left the area before officers arrived.

The victim received medical attention for non-life-threatening injuries.

The investigation continues. Anyone with information can contact Battlefords RCMP at 306-446-1720. Information can also be submitted anonymously by contacting Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or

The appearance of the video online generated outrage across the province.

FSIN described the incident as a brutal, unprovoked attack and demanded that charges be laid.

FSIN says the victim was from Poundmaker Cree Nation who was unhooking a trailer at a residence in Battleford when a group of non-First Nation men walked onto the property and approached him.

FSIN describes the incident thus: “One of these men attacked the First Nation man while he was unhooking a trailer with his six-year old daughter sitting in the vehicle. The attacker struck him and then proceeded to pull him to the ground by his braid and further [assaulted] the man with a knee to the face. The entire group then left.”

Homeowner Eleanore Sunchild said in the FSIN release, "We are sickened and saddened by the anger, violence and racism that was brought into our yard on Sunday, July 17, 2022. This was seemingly an act of vigilante justice which resulted in our friend being brutally assaulted.”

Sunchild said she posted the video because “racism kills and it has to stop.”

Mayor Ames Leslie issued a statement on behalf of Battleford town council regarding the video. Leslie said the town was “completely saddened” to hear of the events, and called the situation “disheartening.” The mayor offered an apology to Colby Tootoosis, the victim identified in the video, and to his family for what they experienced. He further asked that this “not be a reflection of our community.”

“We would like to apologize on behalf of Town Council, to Colby and his family, that he and his young daughter had to experience an unprovoked event of this nature, in our community. We realize that 'sorry' can be an empty word and used too often. However, we would ask that this event not be a reflection of our community. Battleford is a member of the Battlefords Regional Community Coalition and part of Coalition of Inclusive Communities, and have been taking steps towards bridging communities of all cultures, with a priority focus of changing the narrative with our Indigenous partners and neighbours.

“The justice system was created to deal with criminal actions and the Town of Battleford believes that at no time should citizens take action into their own hands.”

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