A 20-year-old man from Coldstream was taken to hospital Friday night after allegedly being assaulted by a bus driver during a B.C. Hockey League game between the Penticton Vees and Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
Ashton Pede drove to the Shuswap on Sept. 30 to watch his two favourite BCHL teams square off in an early-season battle but after being accused of causing damage to the Vees’ team bus sometime during the night, the fan was allegedly violently attacked by the driver in the Shaw Centre’s parking lot during the second intermission.
Pede was the target of the alleged attack despite denying that he “keyed” the team’s bus. The 20-year-old said he went for a walk with his friends in the parking lot during the second intermission and encountered a man looking for answers on the perceived damage to the Vees’ travel vehicle.
The resident of Coldstream then allegedly had his nose punched and face bitten before being put in a chokehold by the driver. Pede quickly escaped after being pinned to the ground and immediately went to the Vernon hospital, where he learned he had a hairline fracture in his nose, along with significant bruises and bite marks on his neck.
“I did not feel the presence of anyone walking toward me and then I turned around he was just there,” Pede said. “There was no prior interaction at all with him.”
The Pede family is looking to press charges against the bus driver and a police report has been filed, they said.
His parents say the Vees have offered to send a “care package” to their home, as a token of sorrow. The team, who has been contacted for further comment, did say that the bus driver is not an employee but is instead a contractor.
The bus driver had spoken to Vees staff about the incident after the game had ended.
RCMP has been reached for comment, but have yet to respond.
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