Winnipeg Man with Alzheimer's Released from Jail

A judge has ordered the release of a 69-year-old Winnipeg man with Alzheimer's disease who was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife.

"I don't want this gentleman to spend one more second in custody," provincial court Judge Sandra Chapman said Friday morning, directing that Joe McLeod be released on bail.

Once all of the paperwork was completed, McLeod walked out of the Winnipeg Remand Centre shortly after noon and into the arms of his family.

Emotional, he cried and kissed his wife, Rose. The couple embraced, saying they missed each other.

McLeod then headed over to his new residence, a personal care home downtown.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority had found the emergency placement bed for him late Thursday.

The WRHA is now working with the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba as well as police and the Department of Justice to establish better protocols for dealing with such situations.

McLeod had been locked up in a medical ward at the remand centre since early September. He was charged with assault after he reportedly became violent on Sept. 2, shoving Rose to the ground when he didn't recognize her.

Rose called police because she wasn't sure what else to do.

She said she thought she could get some assistance from officers but didn't expect them to arrest her husband. She had been trying ever since to get the charges dropped.

On Thursday, officials had said McLeod would likely remain in jail at least until Oct. 25.

However, Manitoba Liberal Leader Dr. Jon Gerrard became involved, raising the profile of the case, calling for McLeod's release and demanding Justice Minister Andrew Swan launch an immediate investigation into why the man was still sitting alone in a jail cell.

So far, the government has not commented on the case.

The assault charge against McLeod still stands and he is to return to court Nov. 2.

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