A woman was in critical condition at an Ottawa hospital Sunday after being attacked and repeatedly kicked by another resident at a homeless shelter.


Police are confirming witness reports that Arlene Lahey was almost kicked to death by another woman after she refused to share her bottle of sherry.


Police say a woman was arrested after officers were called to the Shepherds of Good Hope shelter shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday.


There’s no word on charges but police say they are investigating the attack as an aggravated assault.


Officials at the shelter declined to comment.

The victim’s husband, who is in the shelter’s alcohol management program, said he hadn’t been told anything about his wife’s condition.

“Is she alive or dead?” Claude Bailey asked reporters on Sunday. “They won’t tell me anything and I’m her husband.”

“I’ve been crying all night,” he said, before a shelter worker ended the interview and ushered reporters from the property.

Several shelter residents said the suspect had arrived a couple of days earlier and had been picking fights with other women.

Witnesses said when Lahey refused to share the sherry, she was tripped and kicked several times.

Friends of Lahey said she moved to the west end in the last year and would visit friends at the shelter, including her husband.

“(Lahey) was a really loving person. She had a heart of gold,” said shelter resident Joanne Presley.

“She just did things for everybody. She never really thought of herself.”