Saanich smoker fuming over anonymous vandal's shame campaign
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Thursday, July 12, 2018 6:27PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 12, 2018 6:34PM PDT
Manure, shellfish, motor oil and paint. These are the tools of a Vancouver Island vandal who has mounted a months-long harassment campaign against a smoker who says she's had enough.
Michelle Schile, a teacher at Lochside Elementary in Saanich, takes a daily cigarette break at a spot near the Lochside Trail.
"I come out around two o'clock and have a cigarette break and read my book for 15 minutes," Schile told CTV News Thursday.
The teacher said she's careful to make sure she's out of sight of the school, because she's ashamed of the habit and wants to hide it from her students.
Because the Lochside Trail extension is a roadway and not a park, it's fair game for smokers like Schile, who usually sits on a rock while she lights up.
But about six months ago someone started covering her perch with poop.
"A few days would go by and it would just keep happening," she said. "Sometimes it was every three or four days."
The vigilante has also covered the rock with seafood, motor oil, house paint and on Thursday, it was mussel shells with a side of manure.
Schille says it's clear that someone has it out for her and her habit, and they're going to vindictive lengths to make their point.
"Every single time a cyclist goes by me, I look up and I think, oh is that person?" she said.
Cyclists who use the trail who spoke with CTV News Thursday said while they may not condone smoking, the vandalism is extreme.
"They must be sick," one man said.
Schille said she just wants the harassment to stop. She's tried to identify the vandal by planting a hidden camera, but only managed to catch a set of legs. She said she's not even sure she wants to meet the man attached to them.
"I'm not terribly awesome with confrontation," she said.
Police say there's little they can do unless there's a threat to Schille's safety.
She says she'll continue to mind her own business, and hopes the person who keeps vandalizing her spot does as well.
Should smokers be shamed? Tonight we look at the bizarre story of a Victoria woman whose outdoor smoking spot was routinely vandalized by someone firmly opposed to the habit. pic.twitter.com/kuZjVk7tgA— CTV News VI (@CTVNewsVI) July 12, 2018