Violent attack at park

A Kelowna man was blindsided by an attacker while flying a drone at a local park, Sunday night.

The man, who wishes not to be identified, tells Castanet he was flying his drone at Ben Lee Park about 8 p.m., doing laps high above the grass.

He wears virtual reality goggles while doing so to provide a first-person view of the flight, but the goggles mean he can't see what's happening right beside him.

"As I am flying with my headset on, I hear someone walking up to me on the grass... They say to me: 'Hey, bro, you need to take that thing out of the air right now, you are invading peoples space!' 

He says he asked who was having the issue and agreed to land the drone.

"As I am bringing the drone back, still with my goggles on, all of a sudden I am punched very hard in the lower mouth-cheek with enough momentum to send my goggles right off my head." 

The man reeled back and asked what the problem was, and the attacker came at him again, striking him on the nose.

The youth then threw his equipment around.

He quickly grabbed his gear and called 911 as they began leaving the park.

He gave police directions to the male youth and a young woman with him. The attacker was arrested on Tartan Road.  

He suffered a bloody lip and nose.

He says he came forward about the assault after recent reports of problems in the Rutland park, including drug needles left lying around and homeless camps.

"This kid attacked me in front of kids, in front of families," the man says. "Thank God mine was not there at the time."

He says troublemakers often hang out at the park, under trees across from the skate park.

He says his partner is now scared to take their child to the park.

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