Two men face charges related to a vicious robbery and assault in an Oak Bay home nearly six years ago.
On the morning of April 25, 2017, Nermeen Alireza was alone inside her family home in the 2500-block of Esplanade when a man attacked her with a machete. She required surgery after suffering significant injuries to an arm and hand.
“My family and I are relieved to hear of the arrests, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Saanich and Oak Bay police,” Alireza said in a statement released Jan. 19. “I am truly grateful to everyone that was involved and would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to both police departments, the Oak Bay Fire Department, ambulance service, hospital staff and surgeons, as well as the Island Hand Therapy Clinic.”
At the time, police said Alireza was in her home and heard noises coming from the kitchen. She went to investigate and found a stranger in her kitchen. The woman confronted the man and an ensuing altercation resulted in the woman being struck several times with what police called an edged weapon and now confirm as a machete.
“This high-profile vicious attack had a significant impact in our community,” Oak Bay Chief Mark Fisher said.
On Jan. 15, after a lengthy and complex investigation by the Saanich Police Major Crime Unit, officers arrested Kaspar Handspiker, 30, in the Maple Ridge area. He faces charges of aggravated assault, break and enter, and robbery. A second man, Christopher Standell, 52, faces one count of accessory after the fact to break and enter and robbery.
“As both have been formally charged and this matter is now before the courts, we are unable to provide any further details about the investigation,” said Const. Markus Anastasiades, Saanich Police Department’s public relations officer.
The Saanich department provides a variety of services for Oak Bay, including major crime investigative services. Fisher cites this case as an example of the value of that service agreement.
“Supporting this investigation has been a priority for our department and I hope that these charges bring some level of comfort to the victim and those impacted by this crime. This investigation required a great deal of commitment, dedication, and perseverance on the part of the investigative team,” he said.
In April 2022, police said information connected the violent 2017 attack in Oak Bay to a crime scene in Sooke. At that time, police said detectives with Saanich’s major crime unit, alongside officers with Oak Bay police hoped new evidence would lead to the identification of a suspect.
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