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Reported assault has Downtown Kamloops BIA concerned

A 23-year-old CAP Team member was allegedly pushed off his scooter en route to work on May 12, leading to leg and shoulder injuries
Downtown Kamloops
The Customer Care and Patrol (CAP) Team acts as ambassadors and directs and assists tourists and helps the homeless in the downtown core.

A member of the downtown Customer Care and Patrol (CAP) Team was reportedly assaulted on May 12 and it has the head of the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association (KCBIA) concerned for the safety of the team and the public.

The 23-year-old man was riding his scooter along the sidewalk of Third Avenue past the former Stuart Wood elementary ahead of his 8 a.m. shift when he was assaulted by a man who uses the homeless shelter within the former school, according to KCBIA executive director Howie Reimer.

Reimer said the CAP member was pushed off his scooter near the corner of Third Avenue and St. Paul Street and injured his leg and shoulder. Reimer said he did not miss his shift, nor was his scooter stolen in the incident.

Reimer said the assault did not continue after the push, which he said was unprovoked.

Renee Stein, executive director of the Out of the Cold Society that operates the shelter at Stuart Wood for BC Housing, said she is working to determine precisely what happened.

Stein said she reviewed security cameras from the site that overlook the area where the reported assault took place, but noted there is no footage to substantiate the claim. She added said she spoke to witnesses who denied the assault took place.

“I ran the tapes. There’s nothing of note on our end,” Stein said.

Reimer said he went to the area after the alleged assault to speak to witnesses and took a photograph of the suspect, whom the assault victim identified as the person who pushed him. Another CAP member, who also works at the Stuart Wood shelter, identified the suspect as a shelter user.

The man who allegedly committed the assault was arrested by police later that day while he was hanging around near the KCBIA office on Second Avenue, Reimer said.

Stein confirmed he has also been kicked out of the shelter while they investigate the claim.

“Even though it hasn’t been proven yet, just because we want to be diligent in supporting our community partners,” Stein said. “Sometimes it’s best to take a time out so we can gather information and make a clear plan moving forward to make sure everyone is safe.”

Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Crystal Evelyn told KTW police received a report of the assault, then found and arrested the suspect, who was later released as the CAP member was not interested in pursuing charges.

“A file number was provided for reference and in case anything changes,” Evelyn said.

Asked if the termination of the shelter’s use by the suspect is a satisfactory resolution, Reimer said he would like to see more security service patrols in the areas around the shelter, as opposed to on the property, where there is security.

“Is it satisfactory? No, someone was assaulted. Satisfactory is going to be safety for our citizens and business owners and employees at the KCBIA,” Reimer said.

Reimer said no other CAP members have been assaulted this year, or any other year on record that he was aware of. Asked if he has concerns with the Stuart Wood shelter heading into its first summer of operation, Reimer replied "of course" but added that he has a good relationship with Stein.

The CAP team acts as downtown ambassadors and directs and assists tourists and helps the homeless population.



— Editor's Note: After KTW's publication Reimer informed the newspaper the person identified from the photo, who is a client at the shelter, may be mistaken for the person who committed the assault.”