Nanaimo RCMP release photo of car connected to 'extremely troubling' attack on homeless man

Police in Nanaimo have released a photo of a car they believe was involved in a vicious attack on a homeless man earlier this month.

On the night of July 10, multiple witnesses reported that a black car with several people inside pulled up next to a man pushing a shopping cart along Victoria Avenue near 102nd Street.

"The victim and those in the vehicle exchanged words, and then the driver of the suspect vehicle reportedly sped up and drove over the man, knocking him to the ground," police said shortly after the attack.

Police said witnesses told them one of the occupants of the vehicle got out and pepper-sprayed the victim.

The 45-year-old man is still in hospital in Nanaimo, police said Thursday.

“This incident is extremely troubling as it appears, from all accounts, the victim was targeted for being a marginalized person," Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson Const. Gary O'Brien said following the attack.

Investigators are circulating a photo of the suspect vehicle taken as the car turned onto Victoria Avenue from 102nd Street.

Anyone with information about the car or its occupants is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.