Police in Nanaimo have made an arrest after a woman was attacked by a girl wielding a stick at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s parking lot last night.
According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, the incident happened about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The victim, in her 60s, told police she’d just sat down in the driver’s seat of her car when she was attacked by a female assailant, who it was determined was 18 years old.
The suspect came armed with a two-foot-long wooden stick and struck the woman repeatedly while demanding she get out of her vehicle. The woman refused and attempted to block the blows, but was eventually dragged out of her vehicle by the assailant, who then tried to start the vehicle, but was thwarted by the vehicle’s security system.
Hospital security and employees intervened, restrained the suspect, and handed her over to police.
The victim was treated in hospital for serious, but non life-threatening injuries.
Investigators learned afterward the suspect had been brought to the hospital earlier by a family member who was concerned about her erratic behaviour, but before the suspect could be admitted, she ran off and it was during that time that she assaulted the victim.
Police arrested the suspect for assault causing bodily harm. She was admitted to hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and the investigation is continuing.
Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said random acts of violence between strangers are rare in Nanaimo.
“This is an isolated random incident involving mental health issues,” said O’Brien. “These types of incidents are very rare in our community. Incidents of violence on a stranger are very rare.”