Vancouver police are searching for two men following a shocking daytime assault in a community garden in Vancouver's Mount Pleasant neighbourhood.
Police say a man in his 50s who was gardening in the 300 block of E 6th Avenue appears to have been hit over the head with a concrete block Tuesday afternoon.
VPD Const. Brian Montague said the gardener required stitches, and may have suffered a concussion.
Witnesses described seeing a confrontation between the gardener and two men who were in the garden. He may have been asking or telling them to leave, police said.
"There was a verbal altercation that began. There is some suggestion that there was actually some throwing of rocks between the two, not only the resident but these two men, before the physical altercation with the piece of concrete," Montague said.
Police are now seeking the two men, who left the area on bikes — one a white 10-speed.
One of the men is described as being six feet two inches or six feet three inches, with a slim build at around 180 or 190 pounds, the other is around five feet six inches and 150 pounds.
Both were described as rough-looking and had shaved or bald heads.
Some of the people who use the community garden on a regular basis told CBC News they have noticed more people they are unfamiliar with hanging around here and, in the last few days, they say they have found needles in the garden.
The attack is now also on the mayor's radar.
"This is a big concern. When people are looking after their garden plot, when people are in the parks, they need to feel safe," said Mayor Gregor Robertson.
Montague said that when residents do raise concerns about an area, officers will pay special attention to it.
"We really rely on the public to be our eyes and ears, and we recommend that they pick up the phone if they see something," he said.
Montague also said that people shouldn't try and confront suspicious behaviour themselves, and should instead call 911.