By DARREN HANDSCHUH
A vicious assault on two young women has many people in Vernon wondering what is happening in the once quiet community.
On Tuesday, Brianna and a friend were assaulted on 39th Avenue near the Silver Springs seniors facility across from the performing arts centre. The incident sprang from an encounter with strangers in the wee hours of the morning.
Brianna's mom, Traci, said her daughter and friend were walking back to their car near Checkers Pub when she said 'High five' to a group of people walking past them.
Traci said the man then made a string of inappropriate comments to Brianna. Her friend told the man he should not talk that way and he attacked her.
Brianna yelled at the man to stop, and he then attacked her.
“It was pretty random. He got her down on the ground and took the boots to her,” said Traci who asked her last name not be used.
Traci said Brianna and her friend were both attacked at around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.
RCMP have confirmed an assault took place, but have yet to provide any details of the incident.
In a picture posted to Facebook, the viciousness of the attack is evident by the bruising on Brianna's face.
“She was beaten by a man and a woman – there were two women, but only one involved – the man beat her so badly he left a shoe impression on her face, fractured her eye socket and bruised the upper part of her body, leaving her with a concussion,” Traci posted on Facebook.
The post by Traci touched off a firestorm of comments ranging from sympathy to anger to talk of vigilantism.
However, it appears the thread has since been removed from Facebook.
Vernon city Coun. Scott Anderson told Castanet he is aware not only of the assault, but of several incidents of violence in the city.
“I'm looking into things we can do to stop some of the violent behaviour that is going on in the city. I take it very seriously,” said Anderson, adding he asked senior administration to contact police about the assault on Brianna and her friend.
On Sunday Aug. 28, two men were slashed with a knife at around 9:15 p.m. The assault happened at 37th Avenue and 31st Street, a few blocks from where Brianna and her friend were attacked.
Both injured males were transported to hospital for treatment. Police have not said if the attack was random or a targeted assault.
There have also been several shootings in Vernon this year as well as five overdoses on Tuesday alone.
“We've clearly got a problem here and it has to be addressed,” said Anderson. “We are doing everything we can from a medical stand point, but we have citizens to protect as well.”
Anderson said he has been contacted by people who said they are afraid to venture out into their own community.