Date:   Jun 8, 2015

A brave and humble Saanich man was lauded today for putting himself in harm’s way to stop a violent domestic assault.

Chief Frank Elsner and Barb Desjardins, Mayor of Esquimalt and Co-chair of the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board were joined by Mr. Brian Smith of the Police Board in awarding Marc Thorsen the VicPD Civic Service Award for his actions on May 7th.

Thorsen was flanked by family and friends as he received the award.

The VicPD Civic Service Award was created as a way to recognize community members and VicPD officers who have stepped up and done the right thing in challenging situations.

Thorsen was nominated by VicPD Constable Marie Bourque for his exemplary actions in coming to the aid of a victim of a violent attack, even though by doing so, he put himself at considerable personal risk.

On Thursday, May 7th at 7:30 am, Mr. Thorsen witnessed a man ram a shopping cart into his girlfriend at the corner of Cook and Pandora streets and then kick her several times while on the ground. Mr. Thorsen intervened and then followed the couple as he felt the assaultive behaviour would continue. He then successfully stopped the man after he shoved the victim to the ground a second time and kicked her several times.

Although Mr. Thorsen was faced with a clearly violent person, he intervened twice, physically putting himself between the man and his girlfriend, ensuring that 911 was called and then offering assistance to the female while walking with her to ensure her safety. In the end, the victim was transported to hospital and the assailant was identified, arrested, and is now facing charges.

As described by Cst. Bourque, “considering this was broad daylight and in front of several people, I consider this call a highly volatile and incredibly vicious incident.”

Mr. Thorsen’s quick-thinking actions led to a successful resolution of this unfortunate event. It is because of the way he intervened carefully and deliberately, although putting himself in harm’s way, that prevented this situation from becoming worse than it was.