Son Found Mother Injured Inside BerMax Cafe
More details have been revealed to TheJ.ca about the violent incident at the BerMax Caffé + Bistro last Thursday night that resulted in a 911 call about a female injured, and which police are investigating as a likely robbery and possible hate crime - and now we've learned thata gay Jewish group was also seemingly targeted.
According to a source who has been in contact with the family since last Friday, the restaurant operator was the first to discover the injured female - his mother.
"Maxim said he found her. Maxim said they were ok, and his mom is still recovering, so he's been focused on taking care of her." The source added that she was going to stay in the city for ongoing care this week rather than return to their home east of Winnipeg. "I can’t understand why someone would attack Mrs. Berent. Based on the reports she must have been seriously injured since she wasn’t able to call for help herself."
According to our source, several swastikas and the word "Jew" were spray painted throughout the building, and a swastika was spray painted over the Be'TLV logo.
Police confirmed that there was extensive damage including antisemitic graffiti throughout not only the dining area but to the 'back of house' of the restaurant. Our source has confirmed that a gay Jewish social organization, Be'TLV, had moved into the next unit only hours before the attack and was also defaced with Antisemitic graffiti. "It’s shared with Maxim, so it’s connected with the caffe" inside the building.
Be'TLV held a RuPaul Trivia contest the day before the attack and according to the source, the surveillance cameras inside the restaurant were operating on Wednesday.
The group was "in the process of solidifying a partnership because they wanted to expand their business (having a lgbtq community centre linked with Bermax) and expand business hours."
Events planned for the next few months will be relocated as those plans "are in limbo."
Our investigation is continuing to explore leads that might identify the true nature of the spate of recent attacks against the BerMax property. These leads suggest there is more to these events than a straightforward antisemitic hate crime. This does not diminish the severity of the most recent violence and the resulting sense of vulnerability within the Jewish community.
(To review our initial report click here: