June 17th, 2024

Local senior highlights downtown safety following incident

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on February 25, 2022.

Herald photo by Al Beeber Pedestrians make their way along 3 Avenue South downtown alongside Galt Gardens. A local senior is raising concerns about downtown safety after he says he was threatened by a stranger.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

A city senior is feeling less safe after being attacked while feeding birds at the Galt Museum recently.
Ken Steven, a resident of Halmrast Manor, said he was just starting to put seed on the ground around 5 p.m. on Feb. 9 when a man standing near him said something to him.
Steven, who is hard of hearing, told him he didn’t catch what the man said.
In a phone interview Wednesday, the 67-year-old said the man then kicked the seed that had been sprinkled on the ground and booted the container out of Steven’s hand. He then started acting like he wanted to fight.
After Steven turned to walk away, the man threw a piece of wood at him, hitting him on his coat. Steven walked to the front of the Galt and stood there so there would be a witness in case the stranger hit him. He said the man then walked away.
A few days later, Steven went for another walk to the Galt around 3 p.m. and the same man was standing on a corner. As Steven walked in the direction of the museum, the man began following, even crossing the street to stroll directly behind him.
Across from the city transit terminal, Steven started walking in the parking lane hoping someone would notice. The stranger then turned and walked away.
After turning onto 6 Ave. to continue his journey to the museum, Steven saw members of The Watch and related his experience.
For Steven, the experiences are disturbing considering his age and the fact he suffers from a heart condition that has him on blood thinners.
Steven has researched what he can do to protect himself and he said feels like there is actually little he can do.
Steven has lived in the city for about 30 years and says he has never thought of Lethbridge as a safe place but now he would never venture out downtown at night.
“A lot of people know it’s not safe,” said Steven who had an E-bike stolen from a locked compound at Halmrast two years ago.
“I just want to let somebody know so hopefully people are aware of it,” he said of his incident with the man who he said was heavy-set, about 5’6″ tall and perhaps was in his 30s.
“There’s a lot of prostitution and drug use,” he said of downtown.
And while he’s not necessarily concerned about his safety, he does fear the consequence of injury if he is attacked in light of his health.
“If I get hit, it could be a serious injury,” said Steven, who is continuing his walks except he’s now looking over his shoulder more often.

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