Man says he was pepper-sprayed in Nanaimo for being homeless

Man says he was pepper-sprayed in Nanaimo for being homeless
WatchVictim says he didn't see the attack coming and he doesn't know why he would be pepper-sprayed except for being homeless.

Another person has been pepper-sprayed in Nanaimo and it appears the only reason the victim was targeted was that he was homeless.

Peter Hudson says he was at his south Nanaimo home near Victoria road Sunday when a neighbour ran up to him asking him to call 911 because someone had been pepper-sprayed in the face.

“It’s horrible that people would do this,” he said.

Hudson says he soon learned that it was an unprovoked attack on a homeless man.

“I do understand that people are angry with things getting stolen and addiction and homeless people camping everywhere but it’s not their choice. They don’t wake up and say I want to be a drug addict. I want to be homeless when I get older,” said Hudson.

BC Ambulance and Police attended but the victim did not want to give his real name or a statement. Police did find a pepper spray canister. Paramedics gave him first aid before leaving.

The victim says as he walked along the sidewalk he did not see the attack coming

“Somebody said to get a life. Get a home and I turned around and got laced with mace in the face and it really sucked. The absolute worst pain, I’ve been in my life. I screamed for help,” said Robin, who declined to give his last name for fear of others wanting to attack him.

He says he did not give a statement to police because he’s had negative interactions with them and he doesn’t trust them. But he says this isn’t the first time he’s been attacked for simply being homeless.

“Here in Nanaimo I was almost run over twice,” said Robin.

In July near Long Lake, another homeless man was pepper-sprayed and run over by a vehicle sending him to hospital. Police have yet to charge anyone in that incident.

“If you refer to us as they, you are categorizing us as different from yourself and we’re no different from you. We’re not worse than you. We’re just worse off than you,” said Robin.

Hudson says it’s also a safety risk.

“When you’re doing this and hurting people and pepper-spraying you’re also putting the public and my family at risk. I have a four-year-old daughter and she could’ve outside playing or outside walking with her mom so please stop,” said Hudson.

Hudson says people should have more compassion and their efforts would be better spent lobbying the government for change.

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Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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