On his way home from church in North Surrey Saturday night, a man was severely attacked in a robbery attempt.
Police say the 40-year-old man was walking home at about 9 p.m. from church, when he was hit in the the head from behind.
Then an unknown number of attackers tried to steal his jacket. He held on to it and the assailant or assailants fled.
Police believe the attacker was after the man’s cell phone.
The victim lay bleeding on the sidewalk near 104 Avenue and Whalley Ring Road before he was able to call his wife, who in turn called police.
Police do not have a description of those who assaulted the man.
A badly bleeding Corneliu Belciug was taken to Royal Columbian Hospital in critical condition, according to his wife, Stefania.
“We didn’t know if he was going to make it,” she said, adding her husband has had three previous cardiac surgeries and was on high doses of blood thinners as a result.
“He’s pretty traumatized,” she said. “He has nightmares and can’t sleep at night.”
She said the couple want to thank paramedics, first responders and police who helped at the scene.
“They were all just exceptional,” she said.
Surrey RCMP are once again urging people to be extra vigilant regarding portable, electronic devices, such as cell phones and iPods.
“I would suggest this is a crime of opportunity,” said Cpl. Drew Grainger. “We have seen a number of cell phone robberies in the North Surrey area.”
Grainger urges people to be extremely discreet when holding or using their electronic devices.
“And if somebody confronts you for them, just give it to them,” Grainger said. “It’s just property, it’s not worth your life.”
He estimates police get a few calls a week from people in the area saying that they were robbed of their cell phones or mp3 players.