RCMP investigating after senior says he was attacked twice in Courtenay park

Jack Currie, 81, says he walking though Pine Grove Park in Courtenay when he was attacked. (CTV News)

RCMP in the Comox Valley are investigating a senior’s claim that a dispute over the use of an aerial drone led to him being attacked by the device’s operator twice inside a small park within the city.

Jack Currie says it was early May when he was returning from a store, walking though Pine Grove Park off of Lerwick Road in Courtenay when he came across two men attempting to fly a drone.

The 81-year-old says he informed the duo that drone flights were not permissible within the park and after a verbal exchange with the two men “telling me to eff off because we know our rights.”

He began walking away when he says he was struck in the face by a fishing pole and knocked on the ground.

“Down I went and that’s when I broke the ribs and the pelvis was the main thing because they don’t heal very fast and I’m just learning how to walk again properly,” Currie says.

He says he spent three weeks in the hospital recovering from the injury and was told he spoke with an RCMP investigator although he has no recollection of the officer questioning him in the emergency room.

Currie says three dog-walkers witnessed the event and also spoked with police, plus another neighbour managed to capture a photograph of the assailant as he left the park.

Currie says no arrests were made even after he had a second run-in with the same individual, whom he believes is around 70 years of age, when the two were in the park on Aug. 31.

“I went by him and the next thing I know I’m on the ground. He kicked me the first time, he just kept kicking me. He slit the hand wide open because I’m trying to stop his boots and then I don’t know exactly what happened but I got at least six or seven more (bruises),” Currie says. “I thought I was going to die.”

He says he lost consciousness and doesn’t know how long he was out but awoke to find he was hugging his dog, possibly to protect it from the attack.

Currie says RCMP later told him he had been accused of pushing the younger senior and they were unable to identify him through the photograph.

Comox Valley RCMP released a photo Tuesday of a man wanted in connection with the incident. 

Police ask anyone who recognizes him to contact investigators at 250-338-1321 or contact Comox Valley Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).