May 6, 2019 5:42 pm
Updated: May 7, 2019 2:00 am

Penticton assault victim was intervening to help threatened teens: wife

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UPDATE: A 28-year-old man is in critical condition at Kelowna General Hospital after undergoing emergency brain surgery after being assaulted in Penticton on Friday night.

“He had some brain swelling. They needed to open the skull up to relieve the pressure,” Bradley Eliason’s wife Chelsea Townend told Global News. “Right now he’s in a medically-induced coma.”

Townend, who has lived in Penticton for over a decade, said the event that lead to her husband’s severe injuries have shaken her to the core.

"I used to think it was a safe place. I don't any more. I'm not even sure I want to live here anymore, to be honest." 

Townend said her husband was with their neighbour enjoying a bonfire on the shore of Okanagan Lake in Penticton when a group of teens joined them.

She has heard that two inebriated men approached the teens and that’s when things began to escalate.

Bradley Eliason is in critical condition at KGH.

Courtesy: Chelsea Townend/ Global Okanagan

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“They were grabbing one of the boy’s hats, trying to rip off one of the girl’s shirts,” is what she’s been told about the events leading up to the assault.

“Brad had stepped in like he normally would to help,” Townend said.

Eliason was punched and fell to the concrete, hitting his head, according to witnesses.

Townend is still processing the shocking assault on her husband of five years.

“He’s the type of guy who would take the shirt off his back for you,” she said.

Having lost her brother, sister and father, Townend said what’s left of her heart is in the Intensive Care Unit at KGH.

“It’s a tragedy. You know, you hear about these things happening, like shootings in Penticton and people getting assaulted. When it comes to your door, it's shocking. It's very shocking,” she said. “You think, ‘These things can’t happen to me,’ but they do. They do happen.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

A 21-year-old man is facing four charges including aggravated assault after a beach party in the popular tourist town of Penticton allegedly turned violent on Friday night.

RCMP in Penticton say Thomas Kruger-Allen is charged with aggravated assault, sexual assault and two counts of assault.

Kruger-Allen is accused of getting into a fight near the waterfront of Okanagan Lake on Lakeshore Drive around 11:30 p.m. on May 3 near the fire pits.

READ MORE: Pregnant woman assaulted, Penticton RCMP seek witnesses

“Members responded along with EHS and discovered one male in his late 20s suffering from a head injury that rendered him unconscious,” says Staff Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck in a media release.

The victim was transported to the Penticton Regional Hospital before being transferred to Kelowna General Hospital for further treatment. He remains in hospital.

WATCH: Okanagan man charged with attempted murder in connection with serious assault 

Investigators say the head trauma victim intervened in a fight between the accused and someone else attending the beach party.

“This is an unfortunate event that has impacted many lives,” Vatamaniuck said. “The Penticton RCMP are asking that if anyone witnessed the altercations, and have not spoken to the police, please contact us at 250-492-4300.”

Meanwhile, friends have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the attack victim and his wife.

He has been identified as 28-year-old Bradley Eliason of Penticton.

The fundraising page claims the man was enjoying a fire with friends when he intervened in an altercation between two older men and a group of teenagers.

It says he underwent emergency brain surgery and remains in a medically-induced coma.

In August 2017, Kruger-Allen was charged with aggravated assault after an alleged swarming incident outside the now shuttered Mule nightclub in downtown Penticton.

Police at the time said officers responded to a report of a fight outside the nightclub around 3:15 a.m.

READ MORE: Suspect breaks into downtown Kelowna pub through roof: Police

A 28-year-old man was discovered suffering from facial injuries.

Three young men were charged in the incident. According to the Penticton court registry, Kruger-Allen pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of common assault in that case.

A pre-sentence report will be presented to the courts in June.

Kruger-Allen remains in custody in relation to the latest assault accusations.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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