Ted Watts, a middle-aged homeless man who was physically assaulted by three men in south Terrace nearly two weeks ago, is recovering after being prescribed a cream for his burns.
He is, however, still sleeping on the streets because he says social assistance can’t help him and he was banned from his local homeless shelter.
“I’m sleeping on the ground. I got my coat,” Watts said, adding that Mills Memorial Hospital offered him sanctuary during the critical period of his recovery when he needed rest, for which he is very thankful.
Watts said he was carrying $400 and a bottle of vodka at the time of the attack and that his assailants were after his alcohol.
“Welfare won’t reimburse me. They said if you’re robbed we can’t help you,” Watts said.
The money was his entire savings, withdrawn the same day from his bank account because he says creditors were going to seize it.
“I bought a bottle of vodka at a south side liquor store. Three kids saw me, in their 20s and they took $400 from my pocket, rolled me around and kicked my face.”
Then Watts said he felt his shirt and face ignite and ran away, hiding in a truck.
He says that he wasn’t allowed into a local shelter after an altercation with one of the staff.
A police report of the incident says it took place at approximately 11 p.m. May 23 when Watts was walking to the men’s shelter operated by the Ksan House Society on Hall St.
Three men held him to the ground and stole a 26 ounce bottle of Smirnoff vodka and money, the report says.
The man’s face and hand were burned because he was looking at the thieves, say police.
“The injuries the man received were minor but traumatizing. This man is a street person and he was very scared. He ran to an abandoned nearby truck where he hid for the remainder of the night,” says Cst Tiffany Pretty, general duty Terrace RCMP, of the incident.
“Incidents like this do not happen very often in Terrace. Do not be vulnerable by being alone, intoxicated, and carrying valuables and money. Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid parked cars, dark alleys, and other dark areas such as bush. Be safe.”
The first man is described as Caucasian, 6 ft 1 inch, lanky build, red hair, wearing a red sweater, in his 20’s. The second man is described as Caucasian, 5 ft 8 inches, stock build, dirty blond hair, in his 20’s, wearing a leather jacket. The third man is Caucasian, 5 ft 8 inches, stocky build, dirty blond hair, in his 20’s, wearing a light brown suede jacket.
People with information on crime are asked to contact the Terrace RCMP at (250)638-7400 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers by telephone at 1-800-222-TIPS, online at www.terracecrimestoppers.ca or by texting TERRACE plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES). If your information leads to an arrest you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2000.