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Police say woman found beaten outside Surrey, B.C., hockey arena is near death


SURREY, B.C. - A hockey mom was viciously attacked outside an arena in Surrey, B.C., on Sunday and RCMP say her injuries are so serious that she is near death.

An ambulance and police were called about 9:30 Sunday evening after the 53-year-old woman was found unconscious in the parking lot of the Newton Arena.

"The investigation revealed a female had been attacked and suffered serious injuries and is not expected to survive," RCMP said Monday in a release.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has taken over the investigation.

The team's Sgt. Adam MacIntosh said the attack appeared to be unprovoked and random, possibly linked to robbery.

There was another attack in the same area on Dec. 16, and police say there are similarities in both investigations.

Harbs Bains, president of the Surrey Minor Hockey Association, said Monday that the woman has volunteered with the association for some time.

"It's members like her that drive our not-for-profit organization. She's a timekeeper ... her son plays for one of our senior teams. She's been fantastic, she is fantastic," he told CKNW radio.

The attack prompted an unusual warning from Surrey Mounties for area residents.

"Due to the circumstances of this tragic incident,we are asking the public to be extra vigilant," RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet said in a news release.

"It is important that people are aware of their surroundings when they are out and that they keep their valuables concealed. Walk with a friend whenever possible, particularly after dark."

Police released a list of cautions, including removing headphones, carrying only essential items and hiding valuables.

Police said if anyone who is approached should just give the person the property they want.

"Do not fight back. Never engage in an altercation as it increases your chances of getting physically harmed," the advisory stated.

There have been two dozen homicides in Surrey so far this year.

That toll prompted the mayor to launch a police task force last month on drug and gang activity in the city and any other possible contributing factors to the high homicide rate.