In a never seen video of the random stabbing in Langford last month, half a dozen teenagers can be seen swarming and assaulting a Central Saanich man.
“I just saw my life flash before my eyes,” said Lorne Eldridge, a 30-year-old father of four who was the victim of the attack. “I was just in the path of whatever direction they were heading. Completely wrong place wrong time.”
In the video, Eldridge can be seen being kicked, punched and choked by a group of teenagers who were armed with a police baton. The high prescription glasses he needs to see, flew off his face, crushing on the pavement.
“I could only see shapes,” said Eldridge.
Eldridge says he managed to disarm the baton from the teenagers, gave it to his friend who ran it up inside the gas station. One of the youth chased after him, so Eldridge began to pursue to defend his friend.
In a struggle with the youth there, Eldridge felt a sudden burning sensation in his chest.
“I thought I’d been tasered, then a few moments later I told my friend I didn’t feel good. He looked at me, lifted up my shirt and said ‘you’ve been stabbed,'” said Eldridge.
In a separate video, Eldridge can be seen lying down on the pavement in front of the gas station with first responders applying life-saving pressure on his chest.
“The knife itself was probably you know five to six inches long at least and I’d say for it to puncture my lung you know that knife had to have gone in half way,” said Eldridge, whose friend has set up a GoFundMe to cover his hospital bills.
Two youth have been arrested for the assault and assault with a weapon, but West Shore police say there are more witnesses who aren’t telling the truth.
“The possibilty does exist for more charges to be laid. We know that more than one person is repsonsible for assaults that took place that night,” Cpl. Nancy Saggar, West Shore RCMP media relations officer.
Youth violence increasing on West Shore
It’s just one instance, of what police say is growing youth violence on the West Shore, including another serious stabbing and assault involving teens last week.
“This level of violence you don’t see it happen on a regular basis. This is something in the last month we’re coming across that is new,” said Saggar. “It’s very concerning.”
Police say that the same group of teenagers seems to be at the core of the violence.
Amber Ells tells CHEK News, that same crew is targeting her son.
“He threw him down to the ground, punched him in the face, threw his face into the pavement and kicked him in the stomach,” said Ells.
For Ells’ 15 year old son, whose CHEK News’ identity is protecting, that assault on the trails behind the West Shore Mall, was just the beginning of a series of harassment from one 14-year-old boy, that’s been happening since the summer.
“I’m so scared every time my son walks out that door,” said Ells. “My kids mental health is really suffering because of this child and these teenagers that are going around abusing people and stabbing people. How is this being allowed to happen?”
West Shore RCMP confirmed with CHEK News, the 14-year-old suspect harassing Ells son, is the same boy recently arrested for assault and robbery near Belmont School this week.
Refusing to speak with police
Police say the group of teenagers who are suspects in the recent incidents, are refusing community supports and aren’t speaking openly with RCMP.
“When you have a witness present whose seen what happened but aren’t coming forward, it’s very hard to take that to court, to make an arrest and make a charge…Morally you should be talking to us, there were serious injuries that happened. I don’t think they’re quite understanding the gravity of it,” Saggar said.
“Four or five years from now if you sit there and think I had information and I chose not to help someone, that’s going to weigh very heavily on your conscious. You can choose to do the right thing, or you can choose to sit down and pretend like it never happened. But that doesn’t make you a good person. So you need to figure out really quickly, what kind of person you want to be.”
A plea to parents
Saggar believes there are more teenagers who have yet to come forward with information, and has a message to parents.
“If your child was present, not only will they have witnessed an extreme amount of violence, but are they connected somehow? You should be concerned if you are a parent if your kid was there that night,” said Saggar.
A pattern of dropping out of school
SD62 says many of the kids suspected to be involved in the increase in violence have dropped out of school.
“We are connecting directly to those individuals and trying to maintain connection with them. In many cases they’re disengaged from school or at risk of disengaging from school,” said said Scott Stinson Superintendent of Sooke School District.