In the small city of Nanaimo, nothing really happens. Or at least we all complain that nothing does. However, in the last two weeks, Nanaimo has seen its share of danger. In December it was reported that, along the train tracks downtown, a man attempted to sexually assault a young female who fled the scene, luckily. Then, again in February, along those same tracks, a 14-year-old female was also attacked. Reports say the assailant pulled her pants down, but she struggled and he fled. The police worked on finding details about the perp, looking at surveillance cameras. Then came Krogel. After a week or so, Kynan James Krogel’s face was released to the public, and the search was on.

And the weird thing? He’s our age, and went to school with us-—in the Creative Writing program. And what’s more, he knew friends of mine. Among other disturbances, I feel sick knowing that it could’ve been any one of us. For a long time, I felt very safe in my community.

And I’m a pedestrian. I don’t drive—it’s a long story, but I just don’t.  So you’ll see me walking a lot, using crosswalks in front of your car, j-walking to get to the bus, and hoping you’ll see me. But you don’t, always. I’ve gotten the finger more than I should.

But then pedestrians got hit. Two lovely Nanaimo humans, around 5 a.m. each time, walking next to trucks, trusting the driver, the driver trusting the walker. Rain could have been a factor, sure, or negligence on both accounts. Lives were still lost.

Then, on my way to a friend’s house, I saw police tape. It was quiet, as if resolved. Turns out just hours prior, someone decided to use a silver sedan as target practice, blowing two holes into an unoccupied vehicle. Why, you may ask? Maybe we’ll never know. But these guys had the nerve to speed down the Island Highway to Ladysmith, where they hit and injured two police officers just doing their job. The officers have since been discharged from the hospital. They made it to Duncan, where, at a busy intersection, guns drawn, the police took the men into custody.

What’s being called a story out of “a Hollywood movie” happened right under our noses, and we just shared it on Facebook.

So, I say to you, devoted or new Nav reader, whether you are a criminal, a driver, or a pedestrian, please use caution and do your part to keep our small, boring city safe.

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