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Arrests follow attack on Gorge waterway

Feb 03 2012

What looked to onlookers like an act of piracy on the Gorge Waterway turned out to have been trash talk that resulted in serious injuries when two men on a skiff clashed with another pair on a larger boat.

Victoria police are investigating Monday afternoon's altercation — which involved knives, a weighted rope and an oar — between boat owners on a vessel moored in the middle of the waterway, near Bamfield Park.

Several police units and a police boat were dispatched to the area where, according to Deputy Chief John Ducker, on his

Victoria police department blog, they found a bloody mess.

One man was bleeding profusely from a severe head wound, Ducker reported.

The deck of the boat and some of its bulkheads were also covered in blood.

A man from the larger vessel was rushed to shore, where he was treated by paramedics.

It turned out that two men on the larger vessel were socializing when the skiff pulled up and two men scrambled up and jumped on board, Ducker said.

The victims waved an oar at the intruders who were armed with knives, he said.

A man from the larger vessel began swinging a weighted rope, hitting at least one of the intruders.

The knives were put away, but several punches were thrown, Ducker said.

Witnesses told police that one of the men from the skiff had rowed across to the north side of the waterway and tried to hide in bushes.

Officers caught up with a man in the 100 block of Gorge Road East.

He was arrested for assault with a weapon, Ducker said.

The second man from the skiff escaped. However, a man was arrested hours later at Victoria General Hospital, where he had gone to seek treatment for head injuries.

Police have yet to determine what caused the altercation, Victoria police spokesman Const. Mike Russell said Thursday.

"It appears at this stage that the dispute arose over the men in the skiff confronting the larger boat owner about heaps of garbage which had been accumulating on the boat," Ducker said.

Knives, weighted rope and several articles of bloodstained clothing were seized, police said.


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