Suspect hits woman with pipe, jumps into waiting truck in downtown Nanaimo

Police say victim believes ‘vicious assault’ was an attempted purse-snatching

A woman was hit with a pipe by an unknown man downtown this past weekend.

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help with any tips following “a vicious assault” of a 28-year-old woman at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday in front of the Dorchester Hotel on Chapel Street. Following the assault, a male suspect ran off and was not located, noted a police press release.

Several pedestrians reported the attack and when officers arrived on scene, the woman told police she managed to fight off her attacker and observed him running northbound along Front Street. Witnesses said the suspect jumped into a waiting white GMC pickup which drove northbound on Front Street.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said police are still regarding the incident as an unprovoked assault.

“This is a very rare occurrence in our city, especially to be involved in an activity of this nature, where the possibility of people witnessing it are extremely high,” O’Brien said. “She believes he was trying steal her purse.”

The woman was treated for significant but non-life-threatening injuries at the scene by paramedics.

“She received significant injuries, however, she elected not to go to the hospital,” O’Brien said.

The male suspect is described as Caucasian, heavy set, sporting a beard and wearing dark clothing.

Investigators are looking for video surveillance and are asking for help from any motorists who have dash cam video from 7-7:45 p.m. on Oct. 12 along Front Street, Commercial or Terminal avenues.

“These incidents are very rare in our city, especially using the level of violence seen in this assault,” O’Brien said. “We are hoping people will provide any dash cam video to further the investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.

For past coverage of unsolved crimes in Nanaimo, click here.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo RCMP arrest purse-snatching suspect

READ ALSO: Three injured in early morning brawl in downtown Nanaimo



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