A Campbell River woman recalls the moments leading up to the horrific incident that will likely change her and her husband’s life forever.
Last Tuesday (Dec. 7), what started as an ordinary day for Leanne Szasz Beaven and Ron Beaven took a tragic turn.
The pair, security guards with JTF Security, worked a shift together at Campbell River’s Walmart. Around 11 am, a man previously banned attempted to make his way back into the store.
He was asked to leave but later returned in disguise, threatening Leanne with a knife. When Ron came to help, the attacker stabbed him multiple times.
“I was standing eight, nine feet back in the same aisle. And then Ron stepped back, and I saw all the blood coming down from his arm. He took off his jacket, and I knew right away that it had to be an artery, the way the blood was pouring out,” Leanne says.
“I just yelled ‘call 911, call 911.’ I whipped my coat off and grabbed my body cam harness; it’s a big fat elastic. I started wrapping it around his arm.”
As she was doing that, an ER nurse and a Walmart worker, who was previously a first responder, came to the rescue.
“They all took over. Ron was in the best hands that he could be in. There were so many people around us,” Leanne explains.
“I ran to the front because it’s my husband, and I had to make sure that the ambulance got clear access right as fast as they could. They came in and just scooped him up and just took him right up to the hospital.”
Amid the trauma, the attacker, identified by Campbell River RCMP as Nathan Sprout, stole TVs and fled via a fire exit.
Police found him later that evening, with charges of aggravated assault, robbery and assault with a weapon sworn on Dec. 8. And while in custody, RCMP says five other charges were also sworn against him for two separate October files.
The court released Sprout on Dec. 10 on an undertaking with protective conditions, but he was found breaching the court order and was arrested the following day.
RCMP alleges Sprout resisted and attempted to assault a police officer during the arrest. On Tuesday, Dec. 14, he remained in custody and was set to appear in court yesterday.
Ron’s in recovery, ‘doing fine and healing well’:
Once at the hospital, Ron was taken in for emergency surgery.
“On his arm, he had two stabs, but he was stabbed multiple times in those same wounds. And then the one up by his collar bone,” Leanne says.
As of this afternoon (Dec. 17), Ron’s “doing fine and healing well.”
“He gets his stitches out next week,” Leanne says. “He’s still got some numbness, which hopefully will go away. He’ll need physiotherapy to get the usage of his full arm back.”
In the meantime, while Ron’s off work, Leanne’s off work as well helping him recover. It’s what prompted the couple’s boss, Vali Majd, to set up a Go Fund Me page.
“He very generously set that up,” Leanne says. “The support’s been amazing, and we just want to thank everyone that’s behind us because it really means a lot.”
So far, more than $5,500 has been raised. “While it is assumed that Ron will be entitled to WCB, the same isn’t certain about Leanne,” Majd wrote.
Looking to the future, Leanne says they’ll eventually go back to the job, “but I wouldn’t think we’d be going back to that Walmart,” she notes. “We’re still processing all of this.”
Leanne says she’s been working as a local security guard for five years now. “I know what’s going on in the city. I see it all night long,” she adds.
“Shockingly, it went to this level, but as far as the whole situation, I’m just not surprised. It’s been deteriorating and deteriorating. That’s another reason why I quit the patrol at night. It’s just out of control. The cops are in the same boat as us. It’s so frustrating.”