Editor’s note: The video footage and story contain violence and strong language. Faces are blurred in the video because criminal charges haven’t yet been laid.
A North Vancouver woman is recovering after a violent encounter left her with bruises and a new fear of walking down local trails alone.
Lisa Adams said she was attacked on Jan. 23 after a couple became angry in an off-leash dog area near McCartney Creek Park.
Adams runs a dog-walking business and was walking several dogs off-leash at the time. Then, she said she came across a couple who had two dogs off leash as well.
“The woman had said something to me, and I just said, ‘Pardon?’ because I didn’t hear her,” Adams said. “The next words out of [her] mouth were: ‘Don't ignore me you f****** b****. You heard me, put your f****** dogs on a leash.”
Adams said she clarified that she in fact didn’t hear her at first. She asked the couple which way they were going, and said that she would walk in the opposite direction. Adams added that there were no problems with any of the dogs.
Both parties then tried to gather their dogs. Adams then said, “Great, OK, we can go our separate ways.”
After that, Adams said that the other woman pulled out her phone and started swearing at her, telling her things like, “You shouldn’t be out here.”
“She started taking my picture,” Adams said. “And she's saying, ‘I'm gonna report you.’ And I said, ‘You can make whatever reports you want – we're not doing anything wrong.’”
Then Adams pulled out her phone. That’s when the man swung at her, Adams said.
“In that moment, I looked down at my phone, and I hit record on video and I said, ‘Did you swing at me?’ and I took a step back and he swings at me again.”
The man then pushed her, Adams said, threw her down on her back into the bushes and put his legs on hers. Then he started punching her repeatedly, and Adams said she used her arms to block her head.
At first, the other woman stood there and did nothing, until the dogs started barking, Adams said. “And she came over and pulled him off of me that first time, and I was just in shock, yelling the whole time: ‘Oh my god. I can't believe what you're doing …. Get off of me, get off of me.’”
When she got back to her feet, Adams started filming again. Adams told them she was going to call the cops. “And he comes at me the second time.”
She said the man attacked her again, and she doubled over when he punched her in the stomach. Adams said she was pinned again and the man tried to take her phone. As he continued to attack her, Adams started screaming for help, she said.
Eventually, she was able to kick the man off her. “And in that moment, I actually heard someone answer back, ‘Are you OK?’ from a distance, and I scream, ‘No, I'm not OK. Please come and help me,’” Adams said.
She ran towards the voice, who turned out to be a client of hers who was out with their dog. Adams said the man tried to grab her phone again before the client helping her told the couple they needed to leave.
Adams said she tried to continue on her dog walk, but some hikers who heard her scream told her to call the police. North Vancouver RCMP arrived shortly after, and she gave a statement to them. Police couldn’t be reached for comment on Saturday, but Const. Mansoor Sahak told Global News that they were investigating what could be a potential assault.
'Don't walk alone'
Adams, who lives in North Vancouver, said the experience has changed her mindset when hiking the local trails.
“Don't walk alone,” she said. “Because unfortunately, we live in an age of if there's no witnesses, and [if] it's not on video, it didn't happen. And that's scary.” Since the incident, Adams has been wearing a GoPro out on walks, and advises others to have their phones at the ready.
“A lot of people are going through a lot of mental health issues right now. And it's making people upset and people are becoming very reactive.”
Adams, who walks dogs in the area nearly every day, said she had never seen the couple before.
“I absolutely think that an arrest needs to be made so that the community can know that they're not going to be at risk anymore,” she said.