A brutal attack in broad daylight at a busy downtown park has left one man in hospital and three people facing assault charges.
A 74-year-old man was approached by three men at about 2:45 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 7) at Maffeo Sutton Park. The victim was asked by one of the attackers for a cigarette. After informing him he did not smoke, he continued walking along a path that led under Pearson Bridge.
The three men followed him, demanded his wallet then knocked him to the ground from behind and repeatedly punched and kicked him.
Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said the assault only ceased when a nearby pedestrian heard his screams and yelled at the attackers to stop.
“This was a cowardly, senseless act,” said O’Brien. “The victim had less than $30 in his pocket and may require months of rehabilitation to fully recover from his ordeal.”
The Good Samaritan called 911 and stayed with the victim until police and paramedics arrived. The victim was taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and underwent emergency surgery for a broken shoulder.
Based on descriptions of the attackers by witnesses, two of the assailants, ages 17 and 18, were arrested about 20 minutes later by police near Townsite Road and Holly Avenue. A third suspect, 18, was arrested several hours later at his home in the 200 block of Haliburton Street.
Cousins Joshua Prince and Keith Prince, both 18, were both charged with robbery and assault causing bodily harm. Joshua Prince was released on a recognizance and returns to court Jan. 17. Keith Prince was held in custody.
The third suspect, 17, cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. He was also charged with robbery and assault causing bodily harm and was held in custody, appearing in court today (Jan. 9).