The victim of a random machete attack in downtown Vancouver on New Year’s Eve says he feels lucky to have escaped alive.
William Johnson, 52, told Global News he was hit over the head with a machete outside the Blenz coffee shop near Granville and Nelson streets around 7 p.m.
He said he didn’t know the attacker, but had approached him asking for his speaker.
When he refused, Johnson said he turned to go, and that’s when he was hit with the weapon.
“After he hit me in the head, I thought I was going to go down, but I didn’t,” he told Global News.
“I thought he was chasing me, so I ran into the Fresh Donair shop and I asked (the employee) to call me an ambulance and the cops. Next thing you know, I was still bleeding out.”
Johnson ended up needing four stitches and said he thinks it would have been much worse if he hadn’t been wearing a hat.
“I had a bear hat with ears and a little hat and he went through the seams. So I think my hat pretty much saved my life.”
Police have learned about at least two other victims since the initial attack.
It is unclear if the Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve incidents are connected.
Cruz Joseph, 33, has been charged with two counts of assault with a weapon, two counts of assault bodily harm, robbery, and possession of a dangerous weapon in connection with the Dec. 31 incidents.
The Dec. 24 assault remains under investigation, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 604-717-2541 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.