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Horrific details of latest stranger attack raises concerns about violence in Vancouver

Warning: The photos are extremely graphic.
The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) is investigating after a woman was brutally assaulted in the Kitsilano neighbourhood in July 2022.

The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) is investigating after a woman was brutally assaulted in the Kitsilano neighbourhood this week. 

Mirella Gibeau's daughter was walking near the intersection of Waterloo and West 10th streets around 3:30 a.m. when she was approached by two masked men, VPD spokesperson Sgt. Steve Addison told Vancouver Is Awesome.

Police believe they punched her repeatedly in the face as they attempted to rob her.

Authorities also say they believe the men are in their 20s but cannot provide a further description as both of their faces were covered and it was a "blitz-style attack."

VPD spokesperson Tania Visintin told V.I.A. people should not have to change their behaviour because predators in the community make them feel unsafe.

"Incidents like this in that neighbourhood are rare," she added. "We will have officers in the area increasing patrols and doing everything we can to restore safety."

But Gibeau said she's concerned about an uptick in unprovoked, random attacks in the city. 

"When did young [men] start mugging and hitting random young women in the face in Kitsilano/ Point Grey?" the mother asked in a tweet. 

Gibeau took to social media Monday to state that her daughter, who is in her 30s, was punched seven times in the face by one of the attackers. She told V.I.A. in a phone call that a couple of people questioned why her daughter was walking out so late at night in the city but emphasized that this attitude blames the victim. 

"So after midnight, it's Gotham City? All of the criminals only? All of us lock ourselves indoors?" she said. "Here's the reality: it's happening to a lot of people in Vancouver more and more."

Unprovoked stranger attacks in Vancouver 

While there have been more random attacks in some areas of Vancouver than others, the city overall has seen numerous unprovoked assaults in 2022. 

In March, a 26-year-old man was arrested for sucker-punching a teenage exchange student in downtown Vancouver and in May a 15-year-old male was arrested following his alleged random assaults on three different people on the seawall near the Olympic Village.

The VPD also saw an uptick in stranger-on-stranger attacks over a weekend in late April. VPD Sgt. Steve Addison said at the time the assaults were "concerning, especially when the incidents involve stranger-on-stranger attacks and weapons like knives, bear spray, and other make-shift weapons."

On Tuesday (July 12), VPD Deputy Chief Howard Chow addressed the concerning rise of stranger attacks in a tweet, stating that police "continue to make progress."

Chow also shared several violent, random assaults where the perpetrators were arrested and later charged, characterizing them as "gains." 

Numerous locals have raised concerns over what they say is increasing levels of violence in the city. 


Warning: The following photos are extremely graphic and show evidence of violence. 




Photo courtesy Mirella Gibeau
Photo courtesy Mirella Gibeau