Attack on 72-year-old puts Surrey crime concerns back in spotlight
A vicious daylight attack on a 72-year-old Surrey man is bringing questions of community safety back to the forefront.
Gurcharan Singh Gill spent five days in hospital after a stranger hit him on the back of the head with a metal bar in Newton Athletic Park on March 13.
The assailant, who appears to have wanted Gill’s gold rings, went on to kick the senior on the ground and even point a gun at him. Gill suffered a fractured cheek bone, broken jaw and deep cuts.
“I do not feel safe anymore,” Gill said Wednesday.
The attack took place in Newton, the same area where local politicians and police promised to make public safety a top priority following the beating death of Julie Paskall last year.
Paskall, 53, was killed in another suspected robbery attempt outside Newton Hockey Arena on Dec. 31 while waiting to pick up her son.
Surrey RCMP Sgt. Dale Carr confirmed the department has increased patrols, especially in Newton, including the use of Mounties on bikes monitoring parks.
“We can’t be on every street corner at every time, that’s just unfortunate,” Carr said. “Our hearts go out to Mr. Gill, he shouldn’t have had to go through this.”
No suspect has been arrested in the attack on Gill, and his family isn’t satisfied that Surrey has adequately addressed its crime problem, which resulted in a record 25 homicides last year.
The victim’s son Ball Gill said they’re considering moving out of the city.
“There is no law and order. That’s what we feel right now,” he said. “[There are] robberies every second day and there’s no control. The common person doesn’t feel safe anymore.”
CTV News was told Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts was unavailable to speak Wednesday.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Lisa Rossington