A Cowichan Tribes man is concerned that he was targetted by someone who threw a trailer hitch at him from a moving vehicle.
Adrian Sylvester was biking home after handing out food to people living on the streets. It was around 2 or 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 2, on the south side of the Silver Bridge on the Trans-Canada Highway.
“I just got to the other side,” he recalled. “I was maybe 10 feet past when I heard a ‘ding,’ and about five feet in front of me was a trailer hitch.”
It was the usual busy weekday afternoon traffic, Sylvester noted. Two work trucks had just driven past, so he entertained the possibility that the hitch had fallen off one of them. He reported it to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP, but they called back a couple of days later and said no one had reported a missing trailer hitch.
“I asked the officer if maybe she thought someone had thrown it at me, and she said no,” Sylvester said.
That wasn’t much comfort for Sylvester, who still didn’t feel right about it.
“I kind of had the feeling, you know, when you feel something has gone against your life,” he said.
The biggest relief for Sylvester is that he wasn’t accompanied that day by his eight-year-old son, who often rides in front him, but chose to stay home.
“I just thank God my son wasn’t with me,” he said. “He’s usually with me, but he was playing with his cousins that day.”
Earlier this month, a man in Ontario was sentenced years in prison for killing First Nations woman Barbara Kentner when he threw a trailer hitch at her in Thunder Bay in January 2017.
Sadly, it isn’t uncommon for First Nations people to report having things thrown at them from cars in the Duncan area, but Sylvester said he has noticed an uptick in such racist incidents lately. He speculated it could be be related to the recent discoveries of undocumented deaths in residential schools, and some communities — including Victoria — cancelling Canada Day festivities out of respect.
Sylvester has spent the last 27 years leading the Sasquatch Clan Patrol in Duncan, Victoria and Nanaimo: checking on people on the street to see if they need clothing or food, providing counselling, searching for missing people, putting out fires, and finding and confiscating weapons.
“I check on everyone,” he explains on the Sasquatch Clan Patrol Facebook group. “Doesn’t matter what race they are, everyday, everyone counts in my heart.”