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Man robbed and assaulted in Mill Lake Park

Mill Lake Park has been the scene of three assaults since June.  - Abbotsford News file photo
Mill Lake Park has been the scene of three assaults since June.
— image credit: Abbotsford News file photo

A robbery victim was assaulted in Mill Lake Park yesterday when he confronted two thieves who were in the process of stealing from him.

The 51-year-old man was sleeping on some grass next to a picnic area in a northern section of the park at about 11 a.m., when he was awakened by the sound of someone or something rummaging through his belongings.

He confronted two young men who were in the process of taking his wallet, identification, cash, prescription medicine and a portable electronic device.

One of the suspects struck the victim in the neck during the altercation.

Both of the thieves ran away along the paths toward Gladwin Road.

The suspects were both Caucasian. One was about 22 years old, 5' 8", 165 pounds, clean-cut and with short, dark-brown hair. He was wearing a dark T-shirt and white plaid shorts.

The other was about 20 years old, 5' 8", 170 pounds, with dirty-blonde hair longer than the other suspect's. He was wearing light-coloured shirt with a picture on front and blue jeans.

Const. Ian MacDonald said police are looking at the two suspects in connection with two assaults that occurred in Mill Lake Park in June.

"Certainly, there are some similarities in terms of the robberies and the location," he said.

MacDonald condemned the people who would commit such a crime.

"These individuals involved are lowlifes ... People become scared to go to the park."

The first prior assault took place on June 9 at about 3 p.m., when a 26-year-old man was riding his bike in the northwest portion of Mill Lake Park. Three young men asked the man for a cigarette and then demanded all of them. The victim was then hit several times, possibly with a skateboard, and one of the three suspects produced a knife.

The victim's hand was cut from attempting to block the knife.

The second assault was on June 21 at about 5 a.m. A 39-year-old man was riding his bike on a path in Mill Lake Park when he was approached by three young men who demanded that he give them his bike.

When the man refused, the three began attacking him.

In both incidents, the three suspects were Caucasian, in their early 20s and were described as wearing "skater" type clothing.

Anyone with information on any of the incidents is asked to contact the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225, text 222973 (abbypd) or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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