The RCMP have arrested a suspect following two separate unprovoked public hammer attacks within the past week on Vancouver Island.
Comox Valley RCMP say a 17-year-old Comox Valley youth was arrested on Tuesday (March 23) and is in police custody pending a court appearance.
On March 15, a Courtenay man was attacked with a hammer during a walk on a popular city walking trail. The victim was on the Rotary Trail in Courtenay heading north around 5:30 p.m. when he nodded at a man as he was passing by.
“That’s when he reached near the front of his pants and pulled out what looked like a roofing hammer. He took a swing and I blocked it with my forearm and I ran,” the victim told Black Press Media.
The 46-year old victim said despite having bad knees, he took off in a sprint about 10m down the trail. He received a welt near his elbow from the attack. He added it was a random attack, but was concerned about the number of people who walk on the trail.
On March 20, a second victim reported he was similarly walking in an alley behind the Canada Post office on Ryan Road in Courtenay when he encountered a man. The victim nodded at the man who then struck him with a small hammer. The victim suffered minor injuries to his face and leg.
“The assistance we received from the public was instrumental,” said Cpl. Matt Holst with the Comox Valley RCMP Major Crime Unit. “These attacks were concerning to everyone. Residents and businesses went out of their way to assist the investigation by providing surveillance footage. As a result, the suspect was identified and arrested.”
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