A hitchhiker was attacked while trying to catch a ride along Nelson’s north shore last month.
At about 11:30 p.m. on August 22, the victim was trying to hitch a ride on Highway 3A near Six-mile when an unidentified vehicle stopped. The suspect or suspects got out and started to assault the traveller.
Nelson RCMP Cpl. Michael Stefani says the motive is unknown and considered to be a random act of violence, something not common in this community.
“This is something that is unusual for our area,” he says.
Hitchhiking is a common practice around Nelson, however, and does come with risks, he adds.
“When you’re hitchhiking you are always taking a risk because you don’t know who’s going to be picking you up. It’s a stranger. There always is a concern,” he says.
When thumbing a ride, the officer suggests travelling with a second person but he knows this isn’t always possible. “Listening to your instincts,” will also help keep hitchhikers safe.
“If a car pulls over and you’re looking at the vehicle and the person and things just don’t look right, listen to your instincts and decline the ride. Wait for the next one,” he says.
Hitchhiking in well-lit, well-populated areas where there is a high traffic volume can also help.
“It’s always a danger too in the rural areas when it’s dark and you’re at the side of the road, just for your own safety, you don’t want to get hit by a car,” he says.
The person assaulted wasn’t extensively injured and is recovering, reports Stefani.
RCMP is looking for help finding the attacker and anyone with information should contact the Nelson Detachment at (250) 352-2156.