Vancouver Island octogenarian in custody after estranged wife attacked with hammers

Police say mental assessment of 86-year-old underway after neighbours halt Campbell River attack

RCMP say a 64-year-old woman “was attacked by a man with hammers” on Saturday, and the man they claim is responsible is in custody awaiting a court-ordered mental health assessment.

William Cook, 86, of Campbell River has been charged with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon after the incident.

Police say that neighbours and witnesses intervened in the alleged attack on Jan. 26, provided first aid to the victim and kept the man at bay until police arrived.

“The couple had been recently separated but were in communication for medical reasons,” according to the RCMP release on the incident. “They had an argument the day before and on this day the man attended her residence. He entered the residence and struck her multiple times with a hammer. She managed to escape out of the house where she called out for help. Witnesses quickly came to her aid and stopped the assault.”

The Campbell River Major Crime Unit is overseeing the ongoing investigation and the Street Crimes Unit is taking the lead assisted by Victim Services, Forensic Identification Section and the Domestic Violence Unit, according to police.

There is no word on the victim’s condition. Asked to clarify whether more than one hammer was involved in the attack, Cpl. Ron Vlooswyk of the Campbell River RCMP said that police aren’t releasing more details as the investigation is ongoing.

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