Merchants in Vancouver’s Chinatown have raised $8,800 for a beloved security guard who was assaulted earlier this month.
Harold Johnson, 64, suffered a black eye, a broken cheekbone, a broken nose and head trauma when he was attacked by a stranger after taking photos in an alley near the Chinese Cultural Centre on Aug. 12.
A suspect has been charged with one count of assault in the case.
In a short cheque presentation ceremony on Monday, the Vancouver Chinatown Merchant Association’s Tracy To said an attack on Johnson is “an attack on Chinatown.”
“What you have done for our community — it’s not just walking the beat and keeping the streets safe, but you’re also looking out for us and telling us what to look out for around our buildings,” she told Global News.
“Personally, you’ve given me things to be safe when I’m walking to my car. We all really appreciate you and we want to show it to you.”
Johnson has been a guard in the neighbourhood for 20 years. He said he’s still traumatized from the unprovoked attack, which he described as a “wakeup call.”
“I’m just worried it could happen again unexpectedly. It’s unpredictable. You got to keep your eyes over your back constantly.”
Nevertheless, he has told Global News he intends to return to work when he’s healed.
“Knock me down, I get back up. Keep fighting,” he said.
Johnson described the support he has received from the community as “overwhelming.” He and his partner, Brandy La Rocque Johnson, don’t know how they will spend the funds raised, he added.
Bystanders intervened when Johnson was attacked. He is described as well-known and well-liked by merchants in the neighbourhood, who consider him “family.”
“You mean the world to us,” To told him on Monday. “We know that you’re fighting the fight for Chinatown and we appreciate you and Brandy.”