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Squamish reaches out to US tourists attacked while camping



Squamish is a safe, friendly place that loves tourists says Mayor Ian Sutherland.

And that is why the town wants to pay for three US campers attacked in Squamish on Canada Day to come back and re-visit the area.

"The simple fact is that 99.9 per cent of the Squamish population loves the fact that Americans come to visit us and loves the fact that tourism comes to our community," said Sutherland.

Late in the evening on Canada Day Jeremy Dahl, girlfriend Shannon Scott, and Jay Barclay were set upon by about 25 to 30 youths in a campground on Loggers Lane in Squamish.

"I got punched I don’t know how many times – at least like three or four times," said Barclay, a firefighter in Kennewick, Washington.

"And I got kicked in the face. My jaw is still sore from the ordeal."

He also ended up on antibiotics for an ear infection stemming from the beating, which left one ear black and blue.

The incident apparently started when the youths, who were partying nearby, wished Barclay and his friends a happy Canada Day. The US tourists replied by wishing the group a happy Fourth of July.

A bit more banter took place, then the U.S. campers went to bed around 12:30 a.m.

The Canadian youths returned and threw rocks at the US camper’s tents. When Barclay and Dahl stepped out of their tent the situation got ugly with one youth attacking with a knife.

Three of the tires on Barclay’s truck were slashed; his windshield was smashed, as was the hood of his car and the passenger window. Their tents, sleeping bags and other goods were also destroyed in the attack.

Dahl called the RCMP and the youths scattered upon their arrival.

Two were arrested and the police are continuing to interview people about the incident, which may lead to more charges being laid.

"Unfortunately you had a group of 20 to 25 young people who got drunk and did something really stupid," said Sutherland.

"But you have to put this in perspective . This is a group of young people that did something stupid and it could and does happen in other communities too."

"Tourism is very important to us. The Squamish area has moved forward a lot in the last few years … and we want to take advantage of that and so we are taking things like this very seriously.

" I take it very seriously, and council takes it very seriously, and the RCMP is taking it very seriously".