WARNING: This story contains graphic details that readers may find disturbing.
Eighty-nine-year old Robert Plumb says he once ran into a cougar on a dark Courtenay street one morning but he never thought he’d have to worry about a person attacking him.
“If he would have had a full swing I probably wouldn’t have a head,” said Plumb in an interview with CHEK News Thursday.
The attack happened Wednesday morning as he delivered newspapers near 5th Street and Fitzgerald Avenue in Courtenay. The suspect wedged himself into the door of Robert’s car and slashed him 7 or 8 times in the face with a machete after asking for a cigarette.
Only when Robert grabbed the blade of the machete did the assailant take off.
Police say they’ve received numerous tips and even surveillance video from people but the suspect remains at large.
“The assault with the elderly man, that’s an unprovoked assault so that is cause for concern, we do want to find who did this,” said Comox Valley RCMP Const. Monika Terragni.
Police are still asking the public to come forward if they saw anything suspicious or have video of any kind from the area Wednesday morning around 4 a.m.
Robert says if the suspect has done it once he could do it again.
“He’s certainly a danger to other people and that’s one of the reasons you were able to interview me,” said Plumb. “I want this word out that he is on the loose.”
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page that was set up for Robert had raised more than $26,000 as of late Friday afternoon. His family is floored by the generosity.
“We want to send our love and support back to them and thank you so much for all your prayers and funds that you’ve raised. It’s amazing,” said his daughter Loreen Johnson.
They say the money will be used to help Robert live independently when he gets out of the hospital. His wife died in May.
And all through this Plumb still had a sense of humour as he headed into surgery Thursday night.
“Plastic surgery. They’re going to make me look like Robert Redford,” he said with a smile.