Teens suspected of 3 ‘disturbing’ attacks in Nanaimo within 24 hours

The intersection where one of the attacks took place is shown.

Mounties are investigating three separate assaults that occurred in Nanaimo over a 24-hour period that all involved bear spray, and youths are the suspects in each case.

The first assault was reported just after midnight on April 29, near the intersection of Dufferin Crescent and Grant Avenue.

A homeless man told police he was walking with a woman when two young strangers approached them and struck him with a metal baton, and sprayed him with bear spray.

The man was taken to hospital by ambulance for treatment of a possible broken arm and for the effects of the bear spray, according to RCMP. The woman who was with him was uninjured.

Mounties say the two youths were wearing dark clothing and appeared to come from the direction of Dufferin Crescent Elementary.

Next assault

The second assault occurred just an hour later outside a supportive housing building in the 2600-block of Labieux Road around 1:30 a.m.

Police say that when they arrived, they found a man lying on the ground “with an apparent knife wound and suffering from the effects of bear spray.”

The victim told police that he was attacked by three young men who were wearing balaclavas and dark clothing.

The suspects were first spotted near the roundabout on Labieux Road, and after the attack they were last seen running along a bike path towards Highway 19A.

The victim was taken to hospital by ambulance for treatment of his injuries.

READ ALSO: ‘It’s horrible’: Nanaimo man with developmental disabilities bear sprayed in attack

Third attack in 24 hours

The third assault occurred at approximately 6:30 p.m. the same day in the 3100-block of Island Highway.

In this instance, a local chiropractor tried to chase two youths out of his business “for yelling obscenities.”

“While chasing the two, one of the youths turned and hit him in the face with a blast of bear spray,” said RCMP in a release Thursday.

After being sprayed, the man stopped chasing the two youths, and he was later taken to hospital by ambulance to have his eyes flushed.

The two suspects in this case were described as being 14 to 16 years old, with one youth wearing a dark sweater and the other – who used the bear spray – wearing a burgundy sweater.

“These incidents are all disturbing given the randomness of each and the violence involved,” said Reserve Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP in a statement.

“Additionally, given the ages of the suspects, the description provided by the victims and weapons used, it appears that all three attacks may have been carried out by the same individuals,” he said.

Anyone with information on any of the attacks is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Adam Chan

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