Robbery and Attack on Manager of Building Across From Tent City

The manager of Norwood Arms apartments, located across the street from Tent City, was attacked and robbed outside his building around 8:30pm Thursday night.

Don Allen who has become an outspoken critic of the encampment, says he was doing his nightly rounds when he came across a woman he believes is a Tent City resident. He was on his way to tell her to leave the property, when two men attacked him and stole his wallet.

Stephen Hammond from the Mad as Hell group said he received calls from neighbours saying police and police dogs “were crawling all over the neighbourhood“, looking for suspects.

“I walked over to see Don Allen and his wife Laurie. When I saw him, he was shaken up and he was putting ice on his shoulder where he’d been hurt. The thugs ripped his shirt in the process. In the scheme of things, he’s doing “ok”.

Allen says he’s okay today, other than having some bruises.

Victoria Police confirm they’re investigating a robbery at that location and that a victim was hurt. But police have not linked the attack to Tent City or its residents.

“Police quickly attended the area and spoke with the victim who reported that two men stole a wallet from him and then fled the area south towards Quadra and Humboldt Streets,” states a press release from VicPD today.

The first suspect is described as a Caucasian man in his early 20s, with blond hair wearing a black pull over hoody. The second suspect is described as a Caucasian man in his early 20s, with brown hair wearing a yellow jacket.

Police believe that there was a third person present, a woman, who is believed to be a witness. She is described as Caucasian, with blonde hair and has a thin build.

Police are asking anyone who was in the area of the 800-block of Burdett Ave last night and heard or witnessed this robbery, to call them at 250-995-7654 – or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) to report anonymously.

After the attack, Stephen Hammond released the following as part of an email:

You might remember Don from two of Michael Smyth’s column in the Province newspaper. The first one tells a bit of what they went through but the second one is a chronological listing of everything he, Laurie and their building have gone through since the start of the occupation of the provincial land.

Tent City – Angry Neighbors

Smyth – Calendar of Chaos

Since then, Don has had his place broken into with many things stolen. And on a more recent occasion, his truck was broken into, with expensive tools stolen. When he contacted me then, he said, “I don’t know how much more I can handle.”

You may be reading this before or after Housing Minister Rich Coleman has announced his decision about trying to get another injunction to dismantle tent city before the court case goes ahead in September. Regardless of his decision, what is amazing is that his decision will be based on the hazards inside tent city…not on the hell going on in our community…and for Don and Laurie Allen and others in their building. They told me 3 people have given their notice to vacate their apartment because of tent city. One person said she can’t sleep at nights.

Premier Christy Clark is trying to distance herself from this – yet she is the leader of our government – and the very same government who deliberately allowed this occupation to take place last fall. Regardless of what is happening with a possible injunction application, I urge every person to call the Premier’s office in the morning, telling her she has to get her administration working overtime to get rid of tent city and under no circumstances to move this horror story a block away into Mt. Edwards where we’ll then have a PERMANENT tent city indoors, with all the same shit going on every day and night!

Call Clark’s office at 250-387-1715. Her staff will do their very best to say either you have to contact someone else, or you need to send an email. You tell the staff – very politely, but firmly – that you expect one of the Premier’s assistants to call you back, so you can tell these people directly what is happening in this neighbourhood and how her government has only had the interests of those in the tent city, and not the neighbours who have been threatened and assaulted. Enough is enough.

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