Alberni fisherman faces long rehabilitation and uncertain future

The Alberni fisherman who was beaten up and had his leg broken by three men has a long rehabilitation road ahead of him.

Bert McCarthy

The fisherman who was beaten up and had his leg broken in an altercation last week has a long rehabilitation road ahead of him.

On May 12, Hupacasath First Nation member Bert McCarthy, 41, was assaulted by four men outside of the Petro-Canada Gas Station can station on River Road. He was taken to hospital with head injuries and a severely broken leg.

Three men – one age 41 and two age 17 – have been charged with assault causing bodily harm in connection with the incident. A fourth man wasn’t charged.

McCarthy is home now, and facing a long recovery. His kneecap was smashed and will ultimately need to be replaced.

McCarthy, who lives near the gas station, was shocked that something like this could happen. “I don’t know how many times I’ve taken the same walk to the same station and nothing happened,” he said. “This is home to me.”

At his home, McCarthy lay prone on his couch, his heavy bandaged leg in constant pain. “I’ll need more operations then my kneecap has to be replaced,” he said.

He tries not to think about the incident, but it replays like a video clip sometimes. “I wonder how long they’d have kept hitting me if someone didn’t come,” McCarthy said. “And my mother. She was told her son was almost beat to death, that was her Mother’s Day present.”

The single father wonders what he’ll do now and how he’ll provide for his four-year-old daughter.

“I worked at a cement plant in Errington and was set to fish this season and now all that is gone,” McCarthy said. “I’ll be off work for a long time and don’t know if I can do that kind of work again.”

The incident has impacted his life in a more important way, namely with his daughter. “I used to play outside with her, bring her for bike rides and take her for walks and now I can’t,” McCarthy said. “I can’t even lift her up and carry her the way I used to.”

Jason Watts, who was with McCarthy just before the altercation, thinks about the incident as well and says he carries a measure of guilt that’s hard to shake.

“I wish I never left (McCarthy) at the marina. I wish I was there,” Watts said. “Maybe he wouldn’t have gotten it as bad. Maybe we both would have.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

ARTS AROUND: Join watercolour workshops in Port Alberni

Victoria artist Joanne Thomas will provide beginner and advanced classes

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Bullhead derby returns to Port Alberni with new date, location

Lions Club partners with Maritime Discovery Centre

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Port Alberni RCMP honour fallen officers from New Brunswick

Moment of silence, prayers held for Fredericton officers killed last week

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Vancouver Whitecaps give up late goal in 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls

Four of Vancouver’s next five games are at home

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

Evacuation order issued in Island village due to “risk of falling debris”

Fire continues to threaten town’s only access road

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Most Read