Four campers attacked by teen drunks in Golden Ears Park
Girl, 9, injured by flying glass as thugs take boots to mom's car
Matthew Ramsey, The Province
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2007
A Surrey family's first camping trip turned into a night of terror when they were attacked by drunks wielding shovels and bear spray.
Kari Johnson, a male friend, her
14-year-old son Marco and nine-year-old daughter Kira arrived at Golden Ears Provincial Park on Friday night to find the gates to the camping area locked.
The park caretaker suggested they pull into a roadside parking area, pitch their tent and wait until morning.
Johnson and her friend bunked down in the tent. Her son and daughter went to sleep in the car.
"Within an hour of us laying down, the teenagers came cruising through the parking lot doing doughnuts," Johnson said.
Scared the drunks were going to drive into her tent or car, she called Maple Ridge RCMP who told her they wouldn't attend unless she got the licence plate number.
It was 12:15 a.m. Johnson said the scene repeated itself at 1:15, 2:30 and finally at 4:15 a.m. when Johnson, her male friend and son decided to get park staff to help.
They left Kira locked and sleeping in the car and walked about 100 metres to the park watchmen's hut. But, she said, the watchman wouldn't help because the teens were outside the park.
On their way back to the car, the teens in a Cherokee emerged from a driveway on Fern Crescent, near the park gates.
"They were going to come and do it again," Johnson said.
Still on the phone to the RCMP, she, her friend and son stood in front of the truck and told them the police were on their way.
"Within two seconds, 15 teenagers came around the corner," she said. They were carrying bear spray, crowbars, rakes and shovels.
Johnson said she told the police, "they're coming with weapons and they're going to hurt us if you don't get up here."
"They surrounded us and then some girl came at me."
Johnson said the teens blocked the road to her car and Kira, so she and her son fled back to the park hut. The mother and son left her male friend, now himself armed with a shovel, to deal with the mob. Some of the teens were able to slip past him and "total" Johnson's 2004 Honda Civic as Kira huddled inside.
"She woke up to them kicking the sides of my car," Johnson said.
Kira cowered under a blanket as the vandals booted in the bodywork and smashed in all but two of the car windows.
The little girl in the backseat was cut on the hands, feet, legs and arms by flying glass.
Johnson, meanwhile, was still screaming down the phone to get the RCMP to come and help.
"I can't even tell you how many calls I made to them," Johnson said.
She estimates it took police 30 minutes to arrive. The teens scattered once the RCMP got there.
Kira was taken to hospital by ambulance to be treated for her cuts. Johnson said Kira seems OK but was shaken up, telling her, "mom, I could have been in a wheelchair."
Johnson's car was towed away for repairs and forensics testing.
Maple Ridge RCMP confirmed they spoke to several individuals at the scene, but have yet to make any arrests.
The owners of the home on Fern Crescent where Johnson said the trouble began could not be reached for comment.
A representative of the company that manages the campgrounds at Golden Ears, Gibson Pass Resort Inc., was also not available.
© The Vancouver Province 2007