Courtenay man, 89, describes being attacked with machete then saving his own life

Courtenay man, 89, describes being attacked with machete then saving his own life

WARNING: This story contains graphic details that readers may find disturbing. 

Eighty-nine-year-old Robert Plumb says he could feel the moment his attacker struck.

“Before I got the door closed I felt a bang on the top of my head,” Plumb said.

Plumb was in the Comox Valley hospital Thursday describing the moment his attacker struck with a machete early Wednesday morning.

Plumb was delivering newspapers for his stepdaughter near the corner of 5th Street and Fitzgerald Avenue in Courtenay when was approached by a man as he was getting back into his car. T

The man asked if he had a cigarette. He said no, and was then attacked with a 30-centimetre long machete.

“He started slashing me with a machete at my head and he kept slashing at me seven or eight times,” Plumb said.

The unprovoked attack was literally slicing Robert’s face apart and he knew he had to do something fast, so he grabbed the long, sharp blade and squeezed on it with all his might.

“I cut my hand pretty bad but I hung on tight and I wouldn’t let him swing it anymore,” Plumb said.

The attacker then did get it free and fled on a bicycle into the dark early morning streets.

By then, Plumb’s left eye was swollen shut and he had blood dripping down his face. He couldn’t even see his cell phone to call 911 so he drove about two kilometres to the RCMP station where he received help.

While in the hospital Thursday, he was surrounded by family who are shocked and angry at what happened.

“There’s no words,” said his step-granddaughter Janelle Karatsikis. “It just makes you sick to your stomach to think another human being could do that do somebody.”

“A 90-year-old guy who’s just trying to give back to the community and he goes to church every Sunday, I mean he’s a great guy and it makes you mad,” said Janelle’s husband Dimitri.

Police can only describe the suspect as being possibly in his 20s with a dark complexion, wearing something on his head and riding a bicycle.

In the meantime, a Gofundme page has been set up for Plumb. The community response has been quick and generous giving Robert and his family a renewed faith in humanity.

“Makes me feel humble because all of these people that are concerned are like friends to me,” said Plumb.

Plumb’s been told he may never see out of his left eye again. He was scheduled for another round of surgery Thursday night.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call the Comox Valley RCMP at 250-338-1321

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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