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Person experiencing homelessness struck intentionally by motorist in Nanaimo

Incident happened Saturday, July 10, on Victoria Avenue
Nanaimo RCMP. (News Bulletin file photo)

RCMP believe a person experiencing homelessness was intentionally struck by a motorist last night in Nanaimo’s Wellington area.

The incident happened Saturday, July 10, at 9:30 p.m. at Victoria Avenue near 102nd Street, according to a Nanaimo RCMP press release. Police say a male victim was pushing a shopping cart along Victoria Road when a black car with several occupants slowed and stopped.

“The victim and those in the vehicle exchanged words and then the driver of the suspect vehicle reportedly sped up and drove over the man, knocking him to the ground,” noted the release. “Witnesses said one of the occupants got out of the car and discharged pepper spray at the victim as he lay on the ground.”

B.C. Ambulance Service paramedics transported the 45-year-old patient to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital with serious injuries, and the area was closed for several hours while police investigated the scene.

“This incident is extremely troubling as it appears from all accounts, the victim was targeted for being a marginalized person. Our priority is to find out who is responsible and to ensure this does not happen again,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

No licence plate of the suspect vehicle was noted and witnesses said only that it was a small black car, possibly a GM.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2021-25532.

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