Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts fails to control crime
GURCHARAN Singh Gill, 72, who was brutally assaulted by a young man in Surreys’ Newton Athletic Park on March 13, is terribly shaken up and in a lot of distress, his doctor told The VOICE on Thursday.
Dr. Gulzar Cheema, who had permission from Gill’s family to talk to the media, told me that Gill, who is his regular patient, “has a severe degree of head injuries with a concussion.” He added: “The long-term complications of this kind of injury is unknown and can be very severe.”
Cheema said: “[Gill] was hit very badly on the back of his head. He suffers from posttraumatic headaches and dizziness and confusion. … He may have many more difficulties in the future. … At this stage, he has multiple lacerations.”
As reported last week in The VOICE, on March 13 at about 1 p.m., Surrey RCMP responded to an assault in the 7300 block of 128th Street and found Gill suffering from injuries to his face and hands. He was taken to local area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
In speaking with witnesses, police believe the suspect was a male with a dark complexion, in his early 20’s, approximately 5’8”, with a slim build, wearing a dark hoodie, red jacket, and dark sweat pants. He fled the area southbound along the park trails. Despite extensive patrols, the suspect was not identified.
Cpl. Bert Paquet told The VOICE last week that witnesses were unable to state positively whether the suspect was South Asian or black.
Investigators said there is some indication that the victim’s jewellery (rings) may have been targeted.
Gill’s son, who requested me not to publish his name, told me that the crime situation in Surrey is deteriorating, but he hadn’t made any plans to move out from the city as yet.
He said his dad was returning home after a walk when somebody attacked him from behind and struck him three times in the head with a metal bar. When his dad fell down, the assailant kept beating him and even pointed a gun at him.
He added: “Fortunately, a girl came and started shouting at him and scared him off and then [the assailant] ran off.”
SURREY Councillor Barinder Rasode told The VOICE: “The horrendous nature of the crime against a senior who was walking in a public place at one o’clock in the afternoon – there is just no word for it – again, in a public facility. We have to be doing more – and more quickly.”
She noted that she had advocated not only for more police officers, but also for more bike patrols and officers on foot as well as support from governments in regard to both prolific offenders and people with mental illness and drug abuse issues.
Rasode said: “One o’clock in the afternoon – that should never happen in our community. Our seniors and children should feel safe in our parks. So I’ve just been stunned.”
JINNY Sims, MP for Newton-North Delta, in a statement in Parliament said: “The crime rates in my riding have skyrocketed in recent years, and despite numerous pleas to the Federal government to put more police on our streets, the only thing we’ve gotten in return is broken promises.
“Seniors in Surrey, specifically Newton, feel especially vulnerable. Recently, the phone calls and visits from worried seniors have increased at my office in Surrey. They are worried about growing instances of violence in our area: beatings in broad daylight, mail theft, and vandalism to Canada Post mailboxes …now, this government wants them to visit those boxes daily, alone, to collect their mail.
“Mr. Speaker, I pledge to seniors in my riding, and to all my constituents, I will continue to hold this Conservative government to account for its broken promises for more police and safer streets. Seniors and families in Newton-North Delta deserve better. We all do.”
SURREY Mayor Dianne Watts failed to issue any reassurance after this horrific assault. Her mismanagement of the crime situation has been exposed time and time again in both ethnic and mainstream media with a record number of 25 homicides last year that forced her to finally start taking some initiative.
Apparently in reaction to the bad publicity being engendered by this horrific assault, Surrey RCMP issued a press release titled “Emergence of two-wheeled squad having positive impact.”
It said: “Over the past three weeks, a very specialized team of police officers have been patrolling the City of Surrey and providing a highly visible police presence in the community.
“With their bright yellow jackets, sporty bike gloves, helmets, and reflectors they are hard to miss. But don’t be fooled, this isn’t the local cycling team.
“The re-emergence of the Surrey RCMP’s Bike Squad has had a positive impact on the community’s attitude towards crime and public safety.
Surrey RCMP Cpl. Neil Kennedy, who is in charge of the six-member team said: “The feedback we have received so far has been very encouraging. Residents and business are very pleased to see us out here, and being on bikes allows us to provide a much more personalized level of policing.”
The team has already conducted over 140 street checks in their short time of operation resulting in 13 arrests for an assortment of criminal code and drug offences, seven criminal code charges being recommended to Crown Counsel, and 35 provincial fines and bylaw tickets being issued.
The Bike Squad has also been successful in arresting individuals not abiding by their court conditions and getting a number of weapons off the street.
But all of this was unable to prevent a vicious attack in broad daylight on a helpless senior by a young man in as public a place as the Newton Athletic Park!
BY RATTAN MALL