International student at CBU assaulted near grocery store

An international student has been injured following an incident in a Cape Breton parking lot.

Gordon Lewis was one of the people who stopped to help someone who had been assaulted nearby.

Lewis was heading to his vehicle after picking up some groceries Wednesday evening when he and another customer ran into someone who appeared to need help in the parking lot outside the store.

"As we were loading up our vehicles, we saw a gentleman come across the parking lot," Lewis said. "He was crying and there was blood all over his face."

Lewis says the young man told him he was an international student from Cape Breton University and that he had just been attacked.

Lewis says he gave the man a blanket to stop the bleeding and then police were called.

"He was bumming a cigarette, is what he said," Lewis said. "And they just kicked him in the face, is what he said."

The president of the students union at CBU says some in the international student community are shaken up.

"This is really disheartening and concerning," said Amrinder Singh."I won’t feel safe, and I’m pretty sure students won’t feel safe by hearing something like this."

In a statement to CTV News, the university says in part "as is always the case, providing support for our students and ensuring their health and well-being are our number one priorities. We are looking into the matter to see if supports are required."

Cape Breton Regional Police confirm they were called to the parking lot about an altercation between two people.

They say one had minor injuries, but wasn’t taken to hospital, or treated by paramedics. Police say there is no formal complaint to pursue and no charges have been laid.

"Once we get more information about who this student is, we'll be more than happy to provide him with all the support he needs -- if he needs it," Singh said.

Those who stopped to help say they are glad they were in the right place at the right time, but that they remain concerned about what happened -- and why.

"There are lots of good people on Cape Breton Island and we will help whenever we can," Lewis said.