Three Campbell River residents who attended the scene of an alleged assault in Campbell River saved the victim’s life, according to a constable with the Campbell River RCMP.
Andrew Smith and Rebecca Hartley are the winners of the Local Hero Award for Courage and Bravery, while a third brave individual declined the award.
Few details can be released about the incident, but it involved a woman allegedly being assaulted by an armed man in Campbell River earlier this year.
Rebecca Hartley was just returning from work when she heard a commotion.
“I figured it was actually my neighbours’ teenage boys… and then all of a sudden I just heard this blood curdling ‘help me!’”
When Hartley looked across the street, she saw a violent incident unfolding nearby. Moments later, she called 911 to alert police and get medical attention for the victim.
In an interview, Hartley recalled putting the phone on speaker mode in her pocket, so her hands would be free and emergency dispatchers could listen to what was happening. She then crossed the street to confront the man.
“I just ran over, screaming at the top of my lungs, telling him to stop,” she said.
Her yelling alerted other people in the area to the incident, according to the Campbell River RCMP constable who nominated Hartley.
As for the woman who declined her award, Hartley said she helped confront the assailant.
“I remember she just walked up, totally no fear… now both of us are screaming at him,” she said.
Meanwhile, Andrew Smith was in his front yard working with his daughter on a school project when he heard someone down the road screaming and yelling.
“I poked my head out onto the road to see what was happening,” he recalled. “I could see a bit of commotion happening down on my street… about four or five houses down.”
He ran down to see what was going on, initially thinking it was a dog fight, since someone attending the scene had been walking her dogs. Instead, he found himself at the scene of a violent incident.
Smith provided first aid to the victim and helped keep the assailant at bay until police and paramedics arrived.
“I don’t think I need a nomination for anything,” said Smith. “I was just doing what normal people do, I guess.”
But the police officer praised the extraordinary actions of the local residents, saying their “bravery and courage to step into this violent situation prevented further harm to the victim.”