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RCMP continue search for assault suspect

Volunteer was reportedly kicked in face during May 18 incident in Pemberton



Police continue the search for a suspect in the alleged assault of a volunteer timber framer last Sunday, May 18, in Pemberton.

Pemberton RCMP was dispatched to Pioneer Park after 3 a.m. near the campsite of a group of Timber Frame Guild volunteers who were in town to erect the Pemberton Community Barn. Officers spoke with the alleged victim and a witness who said the timber framer had approached a group of two youths to ask them to be quiet after several loud cracking noises were heard. While speaking with the males, one of them reportedly kicked the victim in the face, causing serious injuries.

Fishing guide Kevin Kish said he went on a fishing trip with the victim the day after he was released from hospital. While the man was reluctant to speak about the incident, several timber framers who allegedly witnessed the incident earlier told Kish what they had seen.

"What I had heard was there were a bunch of young people... lighting off firecrackers and trying to start a fire right next to where these guys were sleeping. (The victim) got out and asked them to be quiet and he (was struck) by one of the kids and was knocked out," Kish said. "They were just about to jump on him when one of the girls at the campsite lost her mind and started screaming, and everyone backed off and let him be."

The account has not been confirmed.

Kish noted the victim, an Oklahoma native who traveled to Pemberton at his own expense to volunteer, told him he was uninterested in pursuing the case further.

Efforts to contact the alleged victim were unsuccessful.

The U.S. man returned to Pemberton following the incident and was able to participate in the barn-raising activities, according to a statement provided to Pique by the Village of Pemberton.

"The Village is always disturbed when we learn about any incident in our community that causes harm," the statement read. "We are deeply concerned by the events of Sunday, May 18th and wish to express our sympathies for the Timber Framer Guild volunteer who was injured."

The suspect is described as a Caucasian male between 17 and 22 years old, 5'8" to 5'10" in height with a medium build.

While police have yet to locate a suspect, Whistler RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair remains hopeful.

"Pemberton's a small town, so I'm sure we'll get some tips and follow up on that and hopefully locate the suspect," he said.


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