VPD Issues Warning
The Vancouver Police Department has issued a warning over the random attacks which took place in Stanley Park over the past several months.
On February 1st, a man visiting the city was walking his dog on the seawall around 11 pm and discovered the victim’s body near Second Beach. Police have identified the victim as Lubomir Kunik, 61.
Anyone who knows Kunik or had any contact with him leading up to his death are being asked to come forward and assist in the investigation. When Police arrived, a person of interest and within walking distance of the scene was taken in for questioning and later released .
Lubomir Kunik was a West End resident who lived on Barclay Street, just 500 meters from where he was killed. “Stanley Park was his backyard”. He is remembered by his friends as a kind man who loved photography.
On November 16, 2016, an 82 year old man was seriously beaten and left for dead. He remains in hospital till this day.
The attacks appear to be random say the police. No suspects or motive has been identified.
The Second Beach location is close to the trails often used by gay men who meet up in the park. Second Beach area was also the location where Aaron Webster was brutally beaten to death in 2001. Webster was killed by a group of youths, who used baseball bats to beat him to death. The Webster murder was unsolved for over a year, and it was not treated as a hate crime but rather a gay bashing resulting from a robbery. In fact the killing was premeditated as the group of youth were out to “find and get in a fight with someone”.
Community Forum February 16, 2017
Jamie Lee Hamilton, LGBTQ2+ community activist/organizer, and member of the LGBTQ Police Liaison Committee, advises community members to be extra vigilant and aware while in the Park at night. Hamilton points out that last year 13 assaults took place in Stanley Park and believes the community has the right to ask how many of these assaults involved people where sexual orientation might be a factor.
A LGBT Community Forum with Vancouver Police will take place on February 16, at Gordon Neighborhood House starting at 6:30 pm. Everyone is encouraged to attend to discuss community safety in light of recent attacks in the park and on the LGBT community.
Anyone with information that will help in the investigation are encouraged to contact detectives as 604-717-2500.
Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Lubomir Kunik.