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Police investigating assault at YVR airport that left man with spinal injuries; 1 arrested

Amit Prasad lies in hospital after getting beaten by multiple assailants at Vancouver International Airport on Sunday, July 14, 2019. GoFundMe/Amit Prasad

A Vancouver man is in hospital with multiple spinal injuries after getting assaulted by a group of people at Vancouver International Airport last weekend.

Richmond RCMP confirmed they have arrested one person in connection to the assault, which happened July 14 just before midnight near the international terminal.

Amit Prasad, who works with the ground crew as a baggage handler at the airport, told Global News Saturday he was heading to his car in the nearby employee parking lot when six men approached him and beat him.

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“They kicked and punched me, in my back, in my face,” the 36-year-old said from his hospital bed, where he’s recovering from three spinal fractures and fractures to his cheek.

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“I can’t even blow my nose or sneeze in case I hurt myself again,” he said.

Prasad said he’s been told his injuries will have to heal on their own without surgery, which could require him to miss work for weeks.

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“I don’t even know if I can go back to the job I had,” he said. “There’s so much heavy lifting, I may not be able to do it again.”

Police said Friday a suspect vehicle fled the scene and was intercepted by police.

“Additional officers were dispatched to Surrey, where a 20-year-old man was arrested,” RCMP said in an email. “He is known to police.”

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The victim and suspect are also known to each other, RCMP added.

Prasad said the suspect used to work with him at the airport and has had problems with him in the past.

“There were a couple of times where he was screaming in my face, threatening me,” Prasad said. “I reported him to my boss, and he didn’t like that either.”

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Prasad couldn’t elaborate on what caused the man to scream at him, citing his pain medication.

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But he claims the man was looking to hurt him that night, and “gathered his buddies” to help.

“I thought they were going to kill me,” he said.

Global News has reached out to YVR and Prasad’s employer, Strategic Aviation Services, for further comment.

In the meantime, Prasad has set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for his medical costs, saying he’s the only one supporting his wife and four kids.

RCMP say no charges have been laid yet in the case and the investigation is ongoing.

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