A 23-year old Terrace man is recovering with substantial injuries from an unprovoked beating by six masked men last month. His mother says medical treatment was then delayed when her bloodied son staggered to a nearby business to ask employees to call for help, but was told to use a payphone across the street.
The incident occurred on the night of July 17 when Farron Stewart was walking home along Agar Avenue and the group of six men jumped him from behind at the corner of Kenney Street. The attack began with two blows to the back of the head, knocking Stewart to the ground where he received repeated kicks and punches. It is not believed any weapons were used.
“He says it happened within seconds,” says his mother, Heather Jackson. “Six guys jumped out of the bush and beat the crap out of him. They took his ID. He didn’t have any money but they did go through his pockets.”
An unknown time later a cyclist spotted Stewart on the ground and helped him to the nearby restaurant to call for help.
“Farron kept falling down because he was in so much pain… But they wouldn’t help him. They told him to go across [Hwy 16] to 7-11.”
“I don’t understand. If I saw someone all bloody I would certainly be in shock for a few seconds, but then it would be an impulse to call 911.”
Stewart eventually arrived home in a taxi, but he has no recollection of how or when he found one.
Stewart was treated at Mills Memorial Emergency and is now at home recovering from facial and abdominal injuries. He is also awaiting surgery for a broken shoulder. His mother says in the days following the attack he was in an extreme amount of pain and could not speak because the attackers stomped on his chest.
Since the attack, Doherty says she has asked the manager for an explanation of why police or paramedics were not called, and was given only a cryptic response that the employees were “gentle people”.
Her son is First Nations and she worries the inaction was racially motivated and the employees feared reprisals of some kind if they intervened.
“If they were afraid, then they should have phoned the police, right? That explanation has nothing to do with being gentle.”
Doherty says she’s heard of three other attacks involving six masked men but police can confirm only one was reported, from the Mills Memorial emergency ward on the night Stewart was ambushed. Police are treating it as an isolated incident and say the public is not at risk.