The man accused of assault in a Saanich park says it is “absolutely untrue” that he was abusing his dogs.
Partial images of Malcom Brown – then unidentified – were released by the Saanich Police on Wednesday after allegations that he had assaulted a man who confronted him for how he appeared to be treating his dog. Police said he physically assaulted the man and fled the park, carrying his dog.
Brown says the incident was more complicated than what has been portrayed in the media.
He was at Brydon Park on July 7 around 4 p.m. when his dogs – both rescues – were spooked and running in opposite directions, he says. He scooped up his dog in a “bear hug,” holding the dog to his chest and wrapping his arms around its torso. He says this was the only way he could hold his dog because of an injury he has.
Brown, who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues, says he was approached by a man “running and screaming” at him and calling him an animal abuser. He says he asked the man to give him space multiple times.
“I have PTSD and we got in an altercation and I took a swing at him, that’s what happens when you go running at someone,” Brown says. “That guy and the witnesses didn’t understand what was happening.
“I want to be clear, I don’t abuse animals, I love my animals very dearly.”
Brown said he is now receiving threats online.
“People are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty,” he said in an email. “Furthermore, pissing on people who are already struggling in life with mental health issues, just makes their problems much, much worse and backs them further into a corner that they are already struggling to get out of.”
As of Thursday, Saanich police said no charges have been sworn and no arrest made. Police said Friday that the BC SPCA has been notified and there is no longer a request for public assistance in the matter.