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Gay man attacked in Nelson Park

Attacker allegedly told him to get the fuck out of his park

A gay Burnaby man alleges he was kicked in the face and repeatedly punched and pushed by another man in Nelson Park on Comox St around 7pm on Aug 13.

Roland Flannigan says he was sitting on a park bench talking with a friend when his attacker, who appeared drunk, approached him, swearing, and told him to get the fuck out of his park.

“We were just sitting there, and all of a sudden he just attacked me, he kicked me in the face,” Flannigan alleges.

The blow left him with a bleeding mouth and ear, and loose teeth, he told Xtra on Aug 17.

Flannigan says the man followed him and kept punching and pushing him as he tried to get away.

“I was pushed out onto the street and almost got hit by a car,” he further alleges.

No homophobic slurs were aimed at him at any time, Flannigan notes.

He says he eventually went to St Paul’s Hospital where he was kept overnight.

Flannigan says his alleged attacker – a five-foot-tall Native man with short, black hair and a medium build – is a regular in the park.

Flannigan says he gave the West End Community Policing Centre a statement about the incident.

A copy of the incident report indicates that a coordinator with the centre told Flannigan to stay out of the park. It also notes that Flannigan asked for increased police patrols in the park.

A policing centre spokesperson referred Xtra to the Vancouver police when asked about the incident.

Const Jana McGuinness says she’s aware that Flannigan made a report to the policing centre but so far has not made an official police report.

“We’re just trying to track him down and we’re going to initiate that report ourselves,” she adds.

“He’s alleging an assault in the park, but there’s not an indication here of any element [of] a hate crime that I can see in his initial report,” McGuinness says.

She says she knows for sure that the policing centre is “following up” because there’s “pretty specific information” on who was involved in the incident.

“But we do need [Flannigan’s] cooperation; it’s helpful if we can find him,” McGuinness says.