Woman in Marlborough Hotel zip tie video speaks out, calls for charges

Gail Bradburn, 19, says she wants justice, and charges laid against the men who zip-tied her at Winnipeg’s Marlborough Hotel in December 2023, claiming she never threatened staff and was scared for her well being. Morgan Modjeski reports.

By Morgan Modjeski

The young woman who was captured on camera zip tied and distressed at a Winnipeg hotel on Christmas Day is sharing her side of the incident that was met with uproar and condemnation.

Gail Bradburn, 19, claims she never threatened staff at the Marlborough Hotel. She wants the downtown Winnipeg business shuttered, and the men captured on video examined criminally and charged.

BACKGROUND: Controversy after Indigenous woman restrained in Winnipeg hotel lobby; manager claims she was brandishing knife

Bradburn confirms she was the woman in the video that was shared widely on social media last month. She remains adamant she was passed out at the hotel’s restaurant before being woken up by the group of men, who were in the process of restraining her.

“All of sudden, I snap out of it, and I’m zip tied,” she told CityNews.

“What was going through my head? A lot of stuff was going through my head. Like why me? Why did they want to take me? I was scared. I was scared when that happened.”

Gail Bradburn, the 19-year-old woman who was captured on camera zip tied and distressed at Winnipeg’s Marlborough Hotel on Christmas Day 2023, speaks to CityNews. (CityNews)

Bradburn is visibly distressed and shaken in the video as she attempts to leave the hotel. But a man can be seen blocking the entrance.

“Lock the door,” a man’s voice can be heard off camera.

“She’s trying to run,” says another. “She’s handcuffed and she’s running. She’s in the lobby.”

WATCH: Woman restrained in lobby of Marlborough Hotel (warning: video contains graphic language, disturbing content)

Bradburn believes she would have been “gone” had the incident not been caught on camera by a bystander, who intervened. Near the end of the three-minute video, the men ask the bystander to exit the property.

The footage was condemned by multiple Indigenous organizations. A rally was held inside the lobby of the Marlborough Jan. 21.

Rally in lobby of Marlborough Hotel in Winnipeg Jan. 21, 2024, where an Indigenous woman was restrained four weeks earlier after she allegedly brandished a knife. (Kurt Black, CityNews)

Bradburn says she’s happy the video went public and people were upset by what happened to her, and feels it’s wrong she’s facing criminal charges.

“It should be them not me,” she said. “I didn’t even do anything.”

CityNews has made several attempts to reach the hotel’s management, but they declined as the matter is now the subject of an investigation.

The general manager of the hotel told CityNews last month the woman’s hands were tied using “wrist restraints” because she was intoxicated and threatening guests and staff with a knife.

“Our intention was to prevent this young woman from harming herself or others until the WPS arrived,” the hotel’s manager said at the time.

Winnipeg police charged Bradburn with assault with a weapon on the day of the incident.

‘How was I supposed to pull out a knife when I was zip-tied?’

The 19-year-old feels staff misled the public about what happened, admitting while she had pocketknife, she never threatened anyone at the hotel.

“They just grabbed it from my pocket,” she said. “They took everything from my pocket. They emptied out my pockets … How was I supposed to pull out a knife when I was zip-tied?”

Bradburn says she plans to face the charges in court and is looking to secure legal counsel on the matter overall. She also plans to file suit against the men in the video and the Marlborough Hotel itself.

She says she’s been having a hard time since the incident, and has been using alcohol to numb herself to what she went through.

“I hope something changes,” she said.

Winnipeg Police Service spokesperson Dani McKinnon confirmed Tuesday the police investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

“The police have started an investigation the minute they arrived on scene,” she said.

McKinnon says while WPS officers have taken a statement from Bradburn, she stresses if she wants to come forward with more information, she should do so.

“If she wants to provide alternate details or her version of her events, she can have another opportunity to do so, but she has to reach out do to that,” McKinnon explained.

On Tuesday, the doors to the Marlborough Hotel remained locked.

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