Vancouver man who survived assault looks forward to ‘second chance at life’

Carl Sinclair lost his leg and nearly lost his arm after the attack. Investigators ask any witnesses to come forward


WARNING: This story contains graphic details some may find upsetting

A Vancouver man is recovering in hospital after being brutally assaulted in the Strathcona Park tent city on Sept. 20, 2020.

Carl Sinclair, 25, is still trying to heal from the assault – but he says forgiveness is helping him move on.

“I do forgive the people that did this to me, you know, I hope to find a better life and better perspective of life and not to live in such a negative way,” said Sinclair.

He says he was only in the tent city for about a week and drinking heavily when the horrific attack happened.

Doctors have told him that a torch was used to inflict a few of his injuries.

“This is the big scar right here from the torch, and they tried to burn my heart out, but I guess I was fighting so it just went across instead with the torch.”

He was left lying in a tent for about 12 hours before someone called 911.

Doctors amputated his left leg up to his hip because he lost circulation and infection set in.

He nearly lost his left arm too.

“So this is the big cut right here, tendon damage. I had a torch right here, a big hole right here. It’s healing pretty well. They had to take a bunch of muscle out, muscle memory because I slept on my hand so there is a bunch of dead muscles in my hand.”

Assault
Carl Sinclair with his mom Connie Sinclair and stepdad Henry. Photo: Tina House/APTN

Life hasn’t been easy for Sinclair.

He says since the age of 12 and 19 he was in 23 different foster homes and became addicted alcohol and drugs.

After the assault, his mother didn’t hear from him for a few days and called around and found out he was in the hospital.

“When I walked in, I was in shock. I think I broke down and I went over to him right away. He was waking up every few minutes traumatized. He kept trying to fight somebody, and he was kicking, and that was really hard for me and heartbreaking to watch,” said Connie Sinclair.

So far investigators are still looking for who was involved in the vicious attack.

His mother who currently lives in Lytton, B.C., is trying to find a place with wheelchair accessibility for her and Carl to move into so she can take care of him.

So far, they have nowhere to go after he’s released from hospital on Feb. 10.

“My hopes and dreams are to get connected with my culture be more spiritual mentally, physically. I have a second chance and I don’t want to ruin that second chance at life,” said Carl Sinclair.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe has been started to help him.

Local police ask anyone with information on the brutal assault on Carl Sinclair in Strathcona Park to come forward.

Video Journalist / Vancouver

A proud Métis from BC, Tina began her television career in 1997 as a talent agent for film and TV. She joined APTN National News in 2007 as a Video Journalist in the Vancouver bureau. In 2010, she was the recipient of the Amnesty International Human Rights Journalism Award for her story on murdered and missing women and girls.