'I just couldn’t watch it anymore': Saanich man assaulted over alleged animal abuse
VICTORIA -- The Saanich Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a man who allegedly assaulted another man over a dispute about animal abuse.
Police say the incident occurred Tuesday at 4:15 p.m. at Brydon Park when the victim of the alleged attack was walking in the area.
Ted Penston tells CTV News that he and his wife, as well as many other people in the park, witnessed a man repeatedly striking his dog.
“A fella was walking through the park with his pit bull in a chokehold and he threw it on the ground. Then he kicked it and kicked it, picked it up, threw it down, kicked it again and picked it up by the throat and kicked it again,” said Penston.
“Finally, my wife said, ‘You have to do something.’”
That’s when Penston says he confronted the man. The pair exchanged heated words before the man allegedly tried to strike Penston.
“He came up to me and threw a punch at me, it just missed my head,” said the Saanich resident.
“I moved out of the way, then I lost my balance and I hit the ground. And then he (hit) me in the guts.”
Police say the man then fled the park and placed his dog inside of a car before driving away.
Penston says the man threw the dog “like a sack of tomatoes” into the trunk of the car and other witnesses of the incident told police that they also saw the man drive away.
Witnesses added that the man returned to the park shortly after to retrieve another one of his dogs, say police.
On social media, witnesses say that multiple families, including children, were in the park at the time.
One child wrote a note to Penston after the attack, saying, “Thank you for standing up for that dog and risking your own safety to help. I hope that the police catch that evil man before he can hurt more dogs. P.S. Great reflexes.”
Penston, who has lived in the area for roughly 30 years, says his family has never seen anything like this before.
"All the people and the ladies here and everybody couldn’t believe how he was treating the dog. He was just kicking it and kicking it and throwing it. It was the worst we’d ever seen," he said.
"I just couldn’t watch it anymore."
Penston says that the punch only "grazed" him and that besides some slight soreness on his side, he is otherwise uninjured.
He says he hopes police will confiscate the man’s dog and arrest him for assault, as well as barring him from owning any animals in the future.
Police say that the man is described as a white male who stands roughly 5’ 10” with a heavy build. He has dark short hair and was wearing a grey T-shirt, blue jeans and black shoes at the time. He also has a tattoo on his right bicep.
His vehicle is described as a dark blue Volkswagen Golf four-door car.
The man’s dog is described as a medium-sized animal with a black spot over one eye.
“We are hoping that this person comes forward and identifies himself to police. However, at this point he has not,” said Saanich Police Const. Markus Anastasiades in a release Wednesday.
“As a result, we are looking for the public’s help in identifying him as well as to check the welfare of both of his dogs.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Saanich Police at 250-475-4321 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.