Alcohol believed to be a factor in 3 assaults, 1 theft during Buccaneer Days

Alcohol believed to be a factor in 3 assaults, 1 theft during Buccaneer Days
Nicholas Pescod

While most were in the area to celebrate Buccaneer Days over the weekend, Victoria police say three assaults and one theft occurred in the area as well.

Between 10:15 to 11:15 p.m. on May 11, VicPD says there were three assaults within five blocks of one another, which was after most of the Buccaneer Days celebrations had wrapped up for the day.

The first occurred in the 1200 block of Esquimalt Road where officers were called for a group of youth fighting. When officers arrived they found four teens who had been bear sprayed.

Paramedics attended the four and officers went looking for the suspects, but no description of the suspects was given. Police were unable to find anyone.

The second incident happened at 10:40 p.m. in the 1100 block of Esquimalt Road. A man, who was walking with a cane, and a woman were “swarmed” and pushed to the ground. The suspects had already left by the time police arrived.

Both victims had visible bruising, according to police, and the assault is believed to be random.

The third incident occurred in the 800 block of Esquimalt Road around 11:15 p.m. A witness called saying they saw a woman in a mobility scooter get bear sprayed. When officers arrived, both the victim and suspects had left.

Officers are hoping to speak with the witness, who is described as a 30-year-old woman riding a red mobility scooter.

In addition to the three assaults, police say a teenage boy reportedly stole a cash box from a fundraising tent at an event earlier in the day. The cash box had approximately $1,600. Police did not provide a time the theft is believed to have occurred.

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Members of the Esquimalt High School robotics team were raising funds to help purchase new robotics parts, tools and competition fees.

“I looked behind me for just a moment to answer a question that somebody had asked and I looking back and a kid had taken our cash box and had got off and run with it,” Elara Berkhout, robotics team member, said.

Katie Walker-Duncan said the whole team was shocked someone had done that.

“We’ve never really had anything that eventful occur during a Buccaneer Day shift before,” she explained.

Mayor Barbara Desjardins also expressed her shock at what happened in Esquimalt and said it would be taken into account for future social events.

“I hope those youth think twice and come forward and show remorse,” Desjardins said. “If not, we’re going to be watching.”

VicPD says it is not yet known if one group or multiple were involved in these incidents. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in all of the incidents.

“Whenever there is large gatherings of this nature, we do tend to see youth consuming alcohol and causing a nuisance at these events, but we certainly have not seen it to this level,” Griffen Hohl, with VicPD, said. “It is a concern and something we are looking into.”

Investigators are hoping witnesses or people with CCTV footage in the areas will come forward.

Any victims who have not spoken with police or anyone with video is asked to call the E-Comm Report Desk at (250) 995-7654 extension 1.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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