NEWS

Alberta camper beaten for reporting suspected drunk driver

06/07/2012 12:20 EDT | Updated 08/07/2012 05:12 EDT

An Alberta man says he was beaten by three men and three women at Wabamun Lake Provincial Park early Sunday morning after he called 911 to report a suspected drunk driver.

Randy Gillingham, 61, called after he noticed some of the people who had been drinking at a nearby campsite got into a pickup truck to drive away.

"They realized I was on the phone," Gillingham said. "They jumped off the vehicle, then they tackled me down, pinned me to the ground — all three men — and the three men and the three women began beating me about the head, kicking me in the head, kicking me in the legs."

Gillingham said the attackers were then encouraged to get more violent.

"One of the women, or two of the women, whatever, were saying, 'Kill the snitch. Kill the snitch.'"

At this point, Gillingham was lying motionless on the ground. He says another camper who looked like a bodybuilder may have saved his life by coming to his rescue.

RCMP charged two people in the incident who are scheduled to appear in Stony Plain court July 18.

Gillingham, a grandfather of seven, was treated at the scene and released.

However as police were leaving, they told Gillingham he should leave the campground for his own safety, he said. The group of partiers remained.

Alberta Parks told CBC News there was a conservation officer on call, but not necessarily on duty in the campground.

Gillingham came forward with his story because he is concerned with safety at the park which he describes as "lawless" after 10 p.m. He has no regrets about calling police, but wishes he hadn't been so open about it.

"Look at me," he said. "All I was doing was just taking down a licence plate number to report a suspected drunken driver and I was almost killed for it."

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