Riders in Saanich, B.C., north of Victoria, are spooked after an unusual assault that happened last week on Lochside Regional Trail—one that involved the victim’s own bike as a weapon.
According to Central Saanich police, the victim—a 54-year-old man—was one of two riders cycling down the trail near Mount Newton Cross Road on Aug. 15, when they were suddenly accosted by a man described by the Times-Colonist as “erratic” at around 4:35 p.m. Reportedly shouting incoherently and making “bizarre” statements, the attacker, police say, pushed the 54 year old off his bike.
The attacker then took the bike belonging to the victim, who had been knocked to the ground, and raised it, proceeding to hit him multiple times. Though expected to recover, the victim was left bloodied with several broken bones, while the other rider suffered minor injuries in her efforts to get away from the attacker.
According to Sgt. Mark Haney with the Central Saanich Police, the man—who had recently been reported missing from Surrey, B.C.—appeared to have been suffering a mental breakdown. He was arrested under British Columbia’s Mental Health Act and remains in hospital. Saanich RCMP, meanwhile, have been informed of the man’s whereabouts and his status in custody, the Times-Colonist reported.
Though the two incidents are believed to be unrelated, the Aug. 15 incident was not the first frightening encounter experienced by cyclists on Victoria-area trails this month. On Aug. 11, a man pulled a knife on a female cyclist as he pulled a log across the Galloping Goose Trail in Victoria. The rider fled on her bike, the Times-Colonist reported, and called the police.
While charges have yet to be laid in the Saanich incident, police say, they may yet be pending.