A 60-year-old assault victim is grateful for the coworkers who may have saved her life.
The registered nurse was just getting off her shift at the Nanaimo hospital when she was severely beaten by an 18-year-old girl who was trying to steal her car.
Nancy Verhoog has bruises, scratches and marks on her face, arms and legs from a fight she never wanted to have.
“Like this is the staff parking lot. You don’t expect something like this to happen.”
She had just gotten into her car Wednesday night after finishing her shift as a nurse at Nanaimo’s Hospital when a violent confrontation began.
“All of a sudden the door opened and she said get out. I want your car,” said Verhoog, describing the incident.
Verhoog refused and the teenaged girl attacking her then pulled out a two-foot-long wooden stick.
“And started wailing on me. I was trying to kick her with my feet and that’s when she started with the legs and of course [I was] trying to use my arm to sort of protect my face,” said Verhoog.
Part of Verhoog’s door frame was dented during the struggle.
Eventually, the teen forced Verhoog out of her car and got in but she wasn’t able to start it without the fob. That’s when some nursing colleagues arrived and grabbed the girl.
“At the moment lying on the ground, I was so thankful for my coworkers who stopped it because I don’t know where she would’ve stopped. She could’ve run me over if she had gotten my key fob,” said Verhoog.
Police quickly arrived and arrested the teen for assault causing bodily harm. She was later admitted to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
“What we know is that she was acting erratically during the day. Her mother was taking her for a psychiatric evaluation. She took exception to that and ran from the hospital. We actually attended to the hospital to look for her and during that time she assaulted the woman in the car,” said Cst. Gary O’Brien, with Nanaimo RCMP.
“I don’t feel anger towards her. I honestly hope she gets help,” said Verhoog.
The assault victim says she trusts the system will do what’s best for the teen.
Police say random assaults, like this one, where the attacker doesn’t know the victim are very rare in Nanaimo.