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Police investigate brutal assault that left Vernon woman badly injured

Joshua Wightman, 21, and Brianna Woodcock, 20, say they were assaulted by an unknown man Aug. 30, 2016.
September 01, 2016 - 2:30 PM


VERNON - Brianna Woodcock remembers being pushed to the ground, kicked in the skull by an unknown assailant, and then being in a lot of pain.

“It happened really, really fast,” the 20-year-old Vernon resident says.

She and her two friends, including Joshua Wightman, 21, were walking back to Checkers Bar and Grill, where their car was parked, on Wednesday, Aug. 30 around 1:30 a.m. when they saw three people coming towards them on 33 Street. There was a man and two women. 

Wightman says Woodcock was “just being friendly” and said hello, and went in for a high-five. That’s when the man started calling her inappropriate names.

“I turned around and said, ‘excuse me sir, like, don’t say that,” Wightman says. “He turned around and looked at me and said, ‘you wanna fight? Do you wanna go? Let’s go.’”

Wightman says he tried to move along, but the man proceeded to hit him in the face. A fight ensued and Woodcock tried to intervene. That’s when she got thrown to the ground beside Wightman. The assailant then began kicking them both in the skull, Wightman says.

“The only thing that made him stop was we started screaming ‘call 911,’” Wightman says.

That’s when the attacker and the two people with him fled, Wightman says. 

“After they left I was holding Brianna, trying to keep her conscious,” he says.

Woodcock suffered serious injuries including broken facial bone. Two days after the attack, she has a swollen, bruised eye and says she is still in a lot of pain. Wightman, as well as a third member of their group, received more minor injuries. 

While difficult, Woodcock says she wants to share her story to prevent someone else from getting hurt by the same person.

“For the safety of others,” she says. “Hoping that maybe word got around and people know who these people are and they’re caught.”

The man who struck Woodcock is described as 6'3", approximately 200 lbs., with a darker skin tone and wearing a grey T-shirt and jeans. The altercation took place near the corner of 33 Street and 39 Avenue in Vernon.  

Police are investigating the assault and ask that anyone who witnessed the incident or has information to contact Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP at 250-260-5833 or via Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
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