Homeless man feared for his life during baseball bat attack in Nanaimo

WatchTwo men with baseball bats attack homeless near Diver Lake Saturday

A 51-year-old homeless man says he has no idea why two people attacked him this past weekend.

The assault left him with head, arm and leg injuries.

The man says the injuries were from an unprovoked attack Saturday afternoon at around 1 p.m. A woman was also injured in the attack.

“I was scared for my life. I thought I was going to die,” said Fred, who declined to give his last name.

It happened while the homeless man was visiting two friends in a wooded area near Diver Lake in Nanaimo.

“I’m mostly deaf so I didn’t even hear them coming up behind me. I just saw her, she got a funny look on her face and she looked behind me and I started turning my head and that’s when I got whacked with the baseball bat. And the only thing I saw of them mostly was bandanas on their face,” said Fred, mentioning the woman he was with who was also injured.

The violent assault happened quickly and the men then fled the area.

“The only thing I remember hearing anybody say was: ‘Get out of town. If I see you again I’ll kill you.'”

Fred says he then limped out of the bushes as fast as he could to a nearby business to get help.

Police said they were called the area near Diver Lake after a 39-year-old woman (Fred’s friend) went to a local business and told an employee that two unknown men had gone to her nearby tent and without any provocation, began striking her and her 51-year-old male friend with bats that the two suspects had brought with them.

The woman told police she did recognize either of the suspects and they had shown up in an orange newer-model car. The alleged assault reportedly lasted for several minutes before the two suspects drove off in an unknown direction.

BC Ambulance took Fred and the 39-year-old female friend he was visiting to the hospital. He was admitted to hospital, treated for injuries and released Monday morning. The woman was also treated for injuries.

Police are investigating.

“The men approached in a car, described as orange in colour, newer model and proceeded to assault them with bats,” said Const. Gary O’Brien with Nanaimo RCMP.

“Both required hospitalization. Both are out but did sustain significant injuries. We do not know the motive behind it. We know the female was living in the encampment for some time.”

Police are looking for information about the two men.

The first suspect is described by police as a Caucasian man, 25 to 35-years-old, heavy set, with dark hair and a goatee. He was wearing dark clothing.

The second suspect is described by police as a Caucasian man, 25 to 35-years-old, heavy set with a dark beard. He had a black bandana covering the lower half of his face.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477.

“We do not support vigilantism in any way,” said O’Brien. “It’s unnecessary in our community. We have a way of dealing with issues. If there is something of concern to you contact Nanaimo RCMP.”

Fred says he collects bottles and isn’t involved in crime. He says he doesn’t know of any reason why anyone would attack him.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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