‘Going to come back’: Security guard beaten in Vancouver’s Chinatown vows not to give up | Globalnews.ca

A beloved community security guard who was assaulted in Vancouver’s Chinatown last week says he’s determined to return to work.

Harold Johnson suffered a black eye, a broken cheekbone, a broken nose and head trauma when he was attacked after taking photos in an alley near the Chinese Cultural Centre on Friday.

“This guy comes out of nowhere, drops his bike, started punching me, and when I went down he kicked me twice in the face,” Johnson told Global News in an interview.


Click to play video: 'Suspect charged after beloved security guard attacked in Vancouver’s Chinatown'








Suspect charged after beloved security guard attacked in Vancouver’s Chinatown


Suspect charged after beloved security guard attacked in Vancouver’s Chinatown

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Community rallies behind beloved security guard attacked in Vancouver’s Chinatown

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“I don’t know this guy. I never dealt with him or anything. And this guy just came out of the blue.”

Bystanders intervened and the suspect fled. Kevin Aaron Hibbard, 44, has since been charged with one count of assault.

Johnson said that while he remains in pain and is dealing with trauma from the attack, he won’t give up on his work.

“I’m going to come back into Chinatown. I’m not going to sit down and say that’s it, that’s final. I’m never going to give up until the day I retire,” Johnson said.

Johnson has worked in the neighbourhood for two decades, and is well-known and liked by merchants in the area.


Click to play video: 'Well-known security guard attacked in Vancouver’s Chinatown'







Well-known security guard attacked in Vancouver’s Chinatown


Well-known security guard attacked in Vancouver’s Chinatown

He said local merchants often call him before the authorities, because they believe the police won’t show up.

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Global News reached out to Johnson’s employer, Primcorp Security, to ask what changes could be made after the incident, but the company declined to be interviewed.

Johnson’s wife, Brandy La Rocque Johnson, also runs a business in the neighbourhood and believes the city is not taking the situation in the area seriously enough.

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“I am totally angry. Not because of what has happened to him, but because it’s constantly happening and it’s time to put a stop to it in Chinatown,” she said.

“What in the world is the mayor doing? Here’s my challenge. I am going to turn around and challenge Mayor Kennedy (Stewart) to come down here by himself and walk with me on the streets, or even by himself and see what’s going on. Not protected by the police, not protected by anybody, no drive-through, walk, see what’s really happening here. It’s time he woke up.”

Communications staff for the mayor’s office said Stewart was not available to comment, Monday. The mayor toured the neighbourhood on Aug. 4, and is often there unaccompanied, they said.

The comments come amid attempts by the City of Vancouver to clear a large tent city in the 100 block of East Hastings, following a fire safety order from Vancouver fire Chief Karen Fry.

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Click to play video: 'Suspect charged after beloved security guard attacked in Vancouver’s Chinatown'







Suspect charged after beloved security guard attacked in Vancouver’s Chinatown


Suspect charged after beloved security guard attacked in Vancouver’s Chinatown

Advocates for the homeless population and BC Housing both say there are not sufficient units to accommodate all of the people sheltering on the street in the area.

La Roque Johnson said that if there isn’t housing for those on the street — or if those who are unhoused in the area don’t want the housing available — officials should designate a piece of city land for a designated encampment with services and amenities for them.

In the meantime, Johnson said he has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from residents and local merchants.

A GoFundMe for the security guard had raised nearly $10,000 by Monday.

“When I looked at it I was amazed, I was overwhelmed at the support I got,” he said.

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“I came down here yesterday and I thanked all my merchants for the love and care.”

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