British Columbia

Dog owner in Victoria looking for missing pet following random attack by man with a hammer

A nurse in Victoria survived a random, violent attack while sitting in her vehicle, but lost her dog after it ran off in the middle of it. ‘My biggest concern isn't my van, it's that Camper comes home,’ says Rebecca Ellis.

Rebecca Ellis was sitting in her van with her dog, Camper, when man started smashing windows

Camper ran off during a random attack in Victoria on Friday evening. (Victoria Police Department)

A nurse in Victoria survived a random, violent attack while sitting in her vehicle, but lost her dog when it ran off in fear.

Ellis, who recently moved to Victoria from Ontario for work, was sitting in her van on Pembroke Street near the city's Chinatown on Friday evening when a man began yelling and smashing the windows of other nearby vehicles.

"I've generally felt pretty safe in Victoria, until yesterday," said Ellis on Saturday.

Ellis said she jumped in the driver's seat of her van to try and drive off, but the man started smashing a window on her van with a hammer before she could leave.

"I had it in drive and was going to drive away and then he smashed the window right beside my driver's seat," she said.

Ellis and her dog named Camper — a brown, female pit bull mix wearing a pink collar — scrambled out to safety while the van rolled forward into another vehicle and finally came to a stop.

Damage to Rebecca Ellis's van from a random attack after a suspect started smashing windows with a hammer on Friday. (CHEK News)

In the confusion, Ellis said Camper ran off and hasn't been seen since.

Meantime, police arrived on the scene and arrested a 40-year-man who they said recently arrived in Victoria from Edmonton.

Const. Cam MacIntyre said that the attack was random. Police have recommended charges of assault with a weapon and mischief. He has been released on conditions and has a future court date. 

Ellis says she is shaken by the incident, but mostly now worried about her dog.

"My biggest concern isn't my van, it's that Camper comes home," she said.

Rebecca Ellis says she avoided injury in a random attack in Victoria on Friday, but is more worried about finding her dog, Camper, who ran off during the incident. (CHEK News)

MacIntyre says police hope that Ellis can recover her dog.

"It's very sad especially when it's the result of a random violent outburst."

He said there have been other similar acts of violence recently in Victoria's downtown area, but that this one "stands out," compared to others.

Camper is a female dog and weighs around 18 kilograms. Her pink collar has a phone number on it, which anyone who finds her can call.

Camper was last seen running in the 700-block of Government Street shortly after the incident. 

Anyone with information about the incident call the Victoria Police Department report desk at 250-995-7654, extension 1, or anonymously through Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

With files from CHEK News and Chad Pawson.


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