Suspect assaults multiple victims

NANAIMO – Violent suspect assaults man and woman in separate attacks.

What appears to have been random acts of violence sent one woman to hospital after a man attacked three people in central Nanaimo Thursday.

The incidents unfolded shortly before 3:30 p.m. when witnesses called police reporting a man assaulting another man in front of an apartment complex at 312 Mount Benson St.

“A witness reported that a male in a hoodie was pulling on a victim’s cheek, I guess, hard,” said Const. Sherri Wade, Nanaimo RCMP spokeswoman.

The assailant then approached a male taxi driver who witnessed the assault and allegedly tried to punch him, but was unable to through the closed window of the car.

The suspect then walked down Terminal Avenue and assaulted an elderly woman in front of the Castaway Motel.

“She noticed him acting strangely and tried to get out of his way,” Wade said. “He walked up to her and hit her in the side of the head, knocking her over.”

The woman was taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital with unknown injuries. The male victim was tended to at the scene by firefighters and paramedics.

Mounties were finally able to arrest the 27-year-old suspect near Pearson Park at the intersection of Terminal and Stewart avenues.

“He was combative with the officers, but was brought under control without incident,” Wade said.

Wade did not know of a reason for the man’s violent behaviour.

He was held in custody to appear in Nanaimo provincial court Friday to face recommended charges of two counts of assault.