Nanaimo Mounties hunting for throat-slasher

Canadian Armed Forces reservist has throat slashed while waiting for bus.

Police in Nanaimo are searching for a suspect who slashed the throat of a 23-year-old Canadian Armed Forces reservist waiting for a bus.

The attack happened Tuesday at about 10:40 p.m. at a bus stop on Fifth Street near University Village shopping mall in Nanaimo’s Harewood district.

“He was standing there when another male approached and struck up a conversation with him,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “After a few minutes, without provocation or warning, [the suspect] produced a knife and slashed him across the neck.”

The assailant ran off through the mall parking lot.

The victim stumbled to a nearby restaurant where staff called 911.

The man was treated at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for a single slash wound to his neck that required several stitches and was released.

“It’s our belief, based on the tone and nature of the conversation the suspect had with the victim, that our victim was assaulted because he was employed with the Armed Forces,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien had no other information about the victim or his service history available other than the man holds the rank of Private, is from Nanaimo and was in full uniform at the time of the attack.

The suspect is Caucasian, 20 to 25 years old, about 5’6″ in height. He was wearing light or faded blue jeans, and a black jacket with white stripes on the sleeves over a gray hoodie.

Police hope to hear from anyone in the area from 10-11 p.m. who might have seen someone matching the suspect’s description.

O’Brien noted there are several restaurants and other businesses in the area that stay open late and police are also reviewing security video footage from those businesses.

“We are asking for the public’s assistance in helping us,” O’Brien said.

Anyone with information about this attack is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.