A West Kelowna mother says she fears for her son’s safety after he was assaulted at a park in the early-morning hours of July 5.
16-year-old Taylor Lanz says he and two of his friends were sitting in Kinsman Athletic Park, listening to music and catching up. Later that evening, a white Dodge Ram with two male occupants began yelling at them.
The truck proceeded to drive away, but then the driver reversed and entered the parking lot. That’s when Taylor says the two men began approaching them.
“His friends ran some distance and hid in some bushes, Taylor didn’t quite run far enough, he was confused,” said Taylor’s mother Salinna Ossevorth.
Although Taylor did what he could to try and avoid the pair, they found him hiding underneath a tree. That’s when the teen says he was attacked. Ossevorth says her son suffered a broken nose, cuts to his face and bruises across his back.
“I feel like our neighbourhood is safe, or I thought it was safe,” said Ossevorth.
“It’s hard to sleep at night knowing someone hurt my son like that.”
Police are searching for two bearded men driving the white Dodge pickup truck, but they’d also like to speak with the people in a red hatchback car who were in the area at the same time. Ossevorth says she’s keeping a closer eye on her son following the attack.
“I told him no more going out at night, no more walking home, or being dropped off at friends’ homes,” explained Ossevorth.
Taylor is slowly recovering from his injuries, but he’s left wondering why anyone would want to go after him and his friends like that.
“I would never expect anything to happen like this in this area.”
Despite the horrific experience, there was one shining moment. Two complete strangers stopped to help Lanz while he sat on the ground awaiting paramedics.
“It was wonderful that someone stopped to actually help my boy and waited with him while he was scared and hurt and covered in blood and kept him feeling safe in that time,” said Ossevorth.
Authorities say the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the West Kelowna RCMP at 250-768-2880.