Parents are raising awareness after a resident was assaulted while walking down the street in Gravenhurst on Feb. 22.
Gravenhurst local Sonny Rundle was walking down Muskoka Road North near Stedmans Department Store just before 4:30 p.m when a car pulled over to the side of the road. Kate Van Loan exited the vehicle, tackled Sonny to the ground and sprayed a chemical in her face. According to a post on Facebook from her father Brad Rundle, the chemical was Battery Sealer and it was sprayed into Sonny’s face and eyes. Van Loan then returned to the car and the driver, who was reportedly another Gravenhurst community member, fled. Sonny went into Stedmans for help and they called the police.
Bracebridge OPP located Van Loan, who is known to the victim, quickly after the assault. OPP arrested and charged Kate Van Loan, 22, of Gravenhurst with Assault CC 266. She will appear in court in Bracebridge on March 26 to answer to her charge.
Brad Rundle said it’s the second time in approximately a year and a half that his daughter has been assaulted in Gravenhurst, both times on the main street. Though Sonny has been cleared by a doctor, he remains concerned for her and for the future of the community. He wrote a Facebook post about the assault, which has received comments that echo Brad’s concerns about violence and drugs in the area.
“There is a drug and violence problem in this town and many of us are tired of this type of event being swept under the rug in order to sustain the perception that we are a quiet little tourist town,” Brad wrote. “Something needs to be done.”
Anyone with information is asked to please call Bracebridge OPP at (888)310-1122 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. You can submit your information online at www.crimestopperssdm.com if you have any information on this crime or any other crime. Crime Stoppers does not subscribe to call display and you will remain anonymous. Being anonymous, you will not testify in court and your information may lead to a cash reward of up to $2,000.