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Man with cane swarmed, assaulted by youth in Esquimalt: VicPD

Police were called for several violent youth-involved incidents Saturday night
The joy of Buccaneer Days in Esquimalt May 10 to 12 was marred by a series of violent incidents Saturday night. (Liv Fredricksen/Black Press Media)

Mayor Barb Desjardins is upset and disappointed after a spate of violent incidents interrupted Esquimalt’s Buccaneer Days festivities on the weekend.

“(Police) assured me this is not something that they feel is an Esquimalt thing, this is happening around the region at various times,” she said.

On Saturday night (May 11), VicPD was called for several youth-involved incidents including swarming, assault and bear spray, the department said in a news release Monday (May 13), hours after a Black Press Media query. Police say alcohol was likely involved in the series of incidents reported between 10 p.m. and shortly after 11.

After speaking with the department, Desjardins said police are piecing things together.

A group of youth was first reported fighting in 1200-block of Esquimalt Road around 10:15 p.m. Officers responded and located four youths who had been bear sprayed. Paramedics provided first aid and officers searched for the suspects, but the search was unsuccessful.

Less than a half hour later, a man using a cane was swarmed by a group of youth, pushed to the ground, and assaulted. The woman he was walking with was also hit and both victims had visible bruising. The suspects had already left when officers arrived.

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A witness called to say they’d seen a woman with a mobility aid get bear sprayed by a group of youth in the 800-block of Esquimalt Road, just before 11:15 p.m. However, when officers arrived neither the victim nor suspects were there. Investigators are looking to speak to the victim, described as a 30-year-old Caucasian female, riding a red mobility scooter.

Earlier in the day, it was also reported that a teen stole a cash box from a fundraising tent at the event, containing approximately $1,000.

Desjardins says it’s particularly disappointing after the Buccaneer Days committee focused on making the event a family affair. It appeared to be working, more youth were out.

“They were here, enjoying themselves likely at the midway and unfortunately it sounds like there may have been alcohol involved and that changes the situation,” she said. “It was serious and it’s not activity that we want our youth to be participating in.”

VicPD asks anyone with information, including surveillance camera footage, is asked to call the report desk at 250-995-7654 ext. 1.

“Members of the community did report what they heard, what they saw that evening so it is being pieced together,” Desjardins said. “Our community is very connected. So when they see something they do report it. That’s good public safety.”

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

Longtime journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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