An angry mob of Vancouver Zombie Walk participants formed around a Car2Go rental vehicle on Saturday afternoon after the vehicle allegedly hit a participant.
A witness told Vancity Buzz the incident occurred just after 4:30 p.m. on Robson Street near Bidwell Street. Thousands of wannabe zombies in bloody costumes and gory makeup began walking on the middle of the road on Robson Street, which was not closed and still active with regular vehicle traffic.
Participants began screaming and banging on the female driver’s small Smart Fortwo car when she allegedly collided into someone and tried to drive away.
“Apparently these people were saying she ran someone over. Then it turned into she ran some lady’s child over, which I didn’t see happen,” said the witness. “However they wouldn’t leave her alone. A lot of people chased her car. Banged on the car, kept punching the windows.”
“I was scared for her. And wouldn’t have gotten out of my car if I was her. I didn’t stay too much long after the cops came, but of course when the cops came these people were a bit more tame.”
There were no reported injuries from the incident, and it is unclear whether any collision occurred.
Warning: this video contains foul language.
Vancouver Police Department Media Relations Officer Randy Fincham confirmed that officers responded to an altercation between a driver and a group of people involved in the Zombie Walk after the driver of a vehicle allegedly struck a pedestrian. However, he could not provide any further comment as the investigation is still ongoing.
A similar incident occurred in San Diego in 2014 when a 48-year-old deaf driver allegedly drove into a zombie walk crowd and injured a 64-year-old woman’s arm. According to NBC 7 San Diego, the man alleged that zombie walk participants pounded on his vehicle and tried to get inside. San Diego’s zombie walk event this summer was canceled due to the ongoing legal battle over the alleged collision.
The Vancouver incident adds fuel to the debate over the City of Vancouver’s recent decision to crackdown and fine organizers of unsanctioned events, a practice that is said to ensure public safety and recover any incurred policing costs for securing an event.
On Saturday morning, organizers of the Zombie Walk tweeted that the event’s route through downtown Vancouver streets would be escorted by nine police officers on motorcycles.
The annual Vancouver Zombie Walk is not protected by full road closures like the city’s parades and running races and occurs on roads that are technically still open with regular vehicle traffic. This is similar to the Critical Mass bike rides and the now-defunct Vancouver Bike Rave.