A Kelowna man is worried that someone could be seriously hurt—or worse—if a young man who sprayed him with a fire extinguisher isn’t stopped.
Josh, who didn’t want his last name published, was cycling near the hospital around 7 p.m. on Jan. 28 when he noticed occupants of a truck yell something at him.
He had headphones on and didn’t recognize the people in the truck, so he said he didn’t think anything of it.
Then, a couple of blocks up, he spotted the truck in a driveway and saw a young man get out of the back of the cab.
At first, he thought the young man was picking someone up at the home, but then he saw the youth running at him along the sidewalk.
Josh had slowed to a stop as he encountered the situation and said the young man “put the nozzle of the fire extinguisher up to my face and gave me a blast.”
“He probably sprayed me for a good five seconds, until I was on the ground.”
He said he could hear the young man—and two others in the truck—laughing as he felt the effects of the fire extinguisher spray before they took off. “I couldn’t even breathe,” said Josh.
A nearby resident brought him inside to wash his eyes and mouth out, and took him to the nearby hospital.
He believes the fire extinguisher was ABC rated, meaning it is a dry chemical extinguisher.
He said hospital staff said that if a person with asthma had been sprayed with the extinguisher, the effects of having the dry chemicals sprayed into a sensitive respiratory system could have been deadly.
Josh, who is normally a healthy 25-year-old, says he’s been sick all week since the attack and has been coughing up white stuff.
And while he’s appalled by the attack, which he says was random, what’s more galling is the notion that he wasn’t the only victim that night.
Josh said he was told by police that two others had been attacked in a similar manner that night.
Josh says he’s speaking out in the hopes that the young men will be stopped, and that no others will have to face what he did.
“That stuff can’t happen in our community…unnoticed,” he said.
“They’re going to keep getting away with it until someone reports them.”
He’s hopeful that if the young men, who he estimates to be between 16 and 19, bragged about it, someone would come forward.
“If nothing else,” said Josh, perhaps publicizing the incident will “scare them from doing it again.”
Josh said the youth that attacked him was approximately 5-foot-9 and had short brown hair.
The two that remained in the truck possibly had brown hair and all had a slim build.
The truck, said Josh, was a red Ford F150 between the years 2000 and 2001 and had a N decal on the back. The rear window may have had a tint and Josh believes the truck had a crew cab.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kelowna RCMP.
Please quote the file number 2011-3770.