We would like to provide some clarification on our Sept. 25 interaction with an 88-year-old Victoria man in James Bay, that has been reported on by the Times Colonist.
Firstly, we appreciate that the situation was upsetting for the man. However, our officers were responding to a call received from staff at the Four Mile Pub, indicating that a weapon had possibly been discharged at the James Bay address. The alleged phone number from the call was provided to us by the pub staff. As a result, our duty to ensure public safety required an immediate follow up. Additional information provided to our officers as they arrived on scene increased the level of concern.
Our follow-up included contacting the man by telephone first, in order to explain the situation and ask him to come out of his suite. Officers also cordoned off adjacent hallways and staircases. Once the situation was clarified, officers ensured the man’s well-being and apologized that he had been placed in this situation. We accept and understand that the man remembers things differently – this was clearly an unusual and stressful situation.
After seeing the erroneous details reported in the first Times Colonist story, Deputy Chief Colin Watson visited the man Tuesday afternoon to clarify what had occurred and re-explain our actions. Deputy Chief Watson also apologized for the situation the man found himself in, but also explained that our duty to ensure public safety sometimes requires that innocent people are momentarily inconvenienced. We felt that it was important to follow up with the man to make sure he was okay.