Police seek assailant of elderly woman

A 70-year-old woman assaulted in Riverdale this weekend says it all started when she told a cyclist to stop riding on the sidewalk.

A 70-year-old woman assaulted in Riverdale this weekend says it all started when she told a cyclist to stop riding on the sidewalk.

Carol Boschman says she was walking down Lewes Boulevard near Klondike Road Sunday afternoon when a cyclist came up from behind her on her right side.

“He flew by me, and I said to him, ‘Hey, you’re breaking the law. There’s a well-marked bike lane for you to be on.’”

Boschman says the man went and placed his bike in a bike rack, and she thought he was calling to her.

She said she moved closer to hear what he was saying.

“Then he started yelling at me and yelling and yelling at me, ‘Get out of here, get away, get out of here.’ He was really yelling. He said, ‘We don’t need Yukoners like you here,’ is what he said. I just kind of stood there. The next thing I knew, he proceeded to slap me.”

Boschman says she was slapped three times and thrown to the ground before the man got back on his bike and cycled away.

She said she’s lucky she fell on the grass and not the concrete.

Several people heard her calling for help and came.

She was taken to the hospital. Nothing was broken, but Boschman, whose left arm is in a sling, said she’s sore and has some soft tissue injuries and inflammation.

Police are asking for the public’s help to track down a suspect.

The man is described as approximately 5’10” tall, with a medium build, according to the RCMP. He appeared to be about 50 years old with shorter dark hair. He was wearing prescription glasses. He had on a red coat with reflective patches on the side and dark pants and was wearing a dark hat.

Investigators have released a blurry image of the suspect.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Whitehorse RCMP detachment at 867-667-5551.

Boschman, who has lived in Whitehorse for the last eight years, says people need to be aware of the rules when it comes to biking on the sidewalk.

“It’s just a matter of time before somebody will get hurt. I’ve just about been run into many times, including downtown, right downtown, by cyclists and skateboarders.”

She said the problem can be particularly bad for seniors.

“I myself have a bit of a balance problem so any little nick or touch, that will throw me off balance, will send me to the ground.”

Whitehorse bylaws state that no one can ride a bike on the sidewalk unless they are younger than 12.

No one can ride a bike on the sidewalks at all in the downtown core. That area covers two blocks on either side of Main Street between Front Street and Sixth Avenue.

Currently there are two part-time bylaw officers responsible for looking out for bicycling, ATV and snowmobile infractions, said Dave Pruden, manager of bylaw services.

It’s an area that has been identified for potentially adding more patrols, he said. But that decision would be up to city council.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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