What police believe to be an “unprovoked attack” has left a homeless man on Vancouver Island in the hospital with head and facial trauma. 

And this comes just a few months after another homeless man in the same island city was run over by a small car and pepper sprayed.

This past Saturday just before 11 pm, the Nanaimo RCMP was called to the city’s downtown after a 24-year-old homeless man was beaten with a metal pipe or similar object.

People in the vicinity told police that, about an hour earlier, the victim was sitting on Museum Way when three men dressed in dark clothing approached him. Witnesses said the suspects asked the homeless man a question, but then struck him before fleeing in a black minivan.

“This appears to be an unprovoked attack on a person in our community who was unable to defend himself,” said Cst. Simon Gallimore.

Police are now asking any witnesses to come forward. They’re also seeking dashcam or other video footage from locals or business owners in the area, bounded by Museum Way, Commercial St., Terminal Ave., and Gordon St., between 9 pm and 10:30 pm on Oct. 2nd. Nanaimo RCMP can be reached at (250) 754-2345.