Couple attacked on Vancouver Island after confronting teenagers performing social media stunt

A Courtenay man is recovering from injuries at home after he was allegedly attacked by a 16-year-old boy when he caught the teenager kicking his door for a social media stunt in the early hours of the morning.

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But after police viewed video of Monday’s incident, Owen May, 48, was told it was possible he would be charged.

For 4½ years, May and his wife Laura, 42, have had their front door kicked in in the middle of the night.

“It would happen for a week or two and then stop for a while before it happens again. I just wanted it to stop,” said May, a fishing guide for 22 years.

May bought a surveillance camera to catch the perpetrator. The next morning he had video showing a person kicking his door at 1am. He shared the video with the police. The person came back in two more nights.

May then strung a fishing line across his front door. At 1:18 a.m., seeing the person walking up his driveway, he and his wife jumped out of bed and went to meet their tormentor.

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When the person kicked the door, their foot caught in the leash.

Laura May tried to arrest him, but another person rushed over, Owen May said.

Both strangers carried flashlights and used them to beat up the Mays, Owen May said.

Owen May bought a security camera to catch the perpetrator. Photo by Times Colonist

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“I was on my knees when one of them hit my head and I saw the other rip my wife’s pajamas off,” May said. “There she was, naked in our front yard.”
The two, who the Mays later discovered were both 16, fled.

Owen May was left with cuts and bruises on his arms and legs. “Bits” of his toenail were ripped off, he said. Laura May required stitches to close a wound on her eyelid.

Police were called and shown video of the violent encounter.

But Own May was shocked to find out that police considered his use of fishing line a possible crime.

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“We are actively investigating this matter,” RCMP Insp. Mike Kurvers told Glacier Media. Prosecutors will decide whether the charges are justified, he said.

He said while assault charges are pending against the two youths, no charges against Owen May have been recommended.

Owen May could be off work for up to two weeks due to leg injuries.

He hopes the torment will end.

“A father of the boys came over to apologize – his wife was too upset,” May said. “He had tears in his eyes when he saw how broken Laura was. …

“I had no intention of hurting or catching anyone with my fishing line. I just wanted to catch the person.”

“When the boy’s father suggested that his son do gardening as a form of restorative justice, I just told him to keep his son and his friends out of my neighborhood.”

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The boy’s family lives along a bike path, a five-minute walk from the Mays’ house. Owen May said two people were involved at all times, one kicking the door while the other filmed the act.

“It’s kind of a TikTok challenge, I think,” said Owen May.

“When I looked it up, I saw dozens of them [doors being kicked in] happened to other houses.”

Neighbors have since reached out to May to offer words of encouragement and share their stories of strangers on the night doing the same to them.

“Most of the people here are in their 60s and 70s — one of my neighbors is 82,” said Owen May, who has lived in the neighborhood for six and a half years.

Most of the people he spoke to had bought security cameras because of the harassment.

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That has led to videos circulating on social media, including one from Campbell River showing a person dressed as a cow knocking on a front door in the middle of the night.

A spokesman for TikTok, the social media platform on which many of the videos appear, said it is trying to do everything in its power to stop such activity.

“To be clear, we don’t see this as a trend on our platform and the footage referenced is not from TikTok,” said a spokesperson for the social media platform.

“Content that encourages illegal activity, dangerous behavior, or challenges violates the TikTok Community Guidelines, which apply to all content on TikTok, and will be removed from our platform.

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“We use a combination of technology and human moderation teams to identify, review, and, where appropriate, remove content or accounts that violate our Community Guidelines.”