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Hate crimes unit investigates Feb 2 attack

Police say man was attacked without provocation near Stanley Park's Lost Lagoon

An assault on a 52-year-old man near Stanley Park’s Lost Lagoon is being reviewed by the Vancouver Police Department’s Hate Crime Unit.

And while that happens, police urge people in the park to remain on alert.

Police say the victim was walking through the park just after midnight on Feb 2 when he was approached by another man who violently assaulted him without provocation.

The attacker left the victim lying on the ground.

According to police, the man suffered minor injuries and was able to report the assault a short time later. Police say they do not know what may have motivated the attack.

District One Staff Sgt Don Cayer says Det Tim Houchen of the Hate Crime Unit was concerned with the fact there was no conversation between the men.

The apparent randomness of the attack raised some red flags with investigators and led police to issue a public warning about the attacker.

“You never know, it could be somebody anti-gay in the stroll area,” Cayer says. “We thought we should have something out there.”

The suspect is described as aboriginal, in his 20s, 5’10” tall and about 160 lbs. He was wearing a dark-hooded sweatshirt.

The attack happened not far from where Aaron Webster was fatally beaten in Nov 2001.

The last person of three people jailed in that case, Ryan Cran, was to be let out of prison Friday on statutory release after serving two-thirds of a six-year sentence.