Date: Monday, October 18th, 2021
Victoria, BC – Officers utilized an ARWEN less-lethal plastic projectile to arrest a non-compliant knife-wielding man on Friday night.
At approximately 7 p.m. on Friday, October 15th, Patrol officers received several reports of a man yelling and threatening passersby while wielding a knife near the intersection of Bay and Blanshard streets. Multiple officers responded to the scene, and within minutes on-duty members of the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team (GVERT) located the suspect near the intersection of Douglas Street and Hillside Avenue.
Once confronted, the suspect did not comply with the direction of GVERT officers and reached for the knife in his possession. Officers deployed an ARWEN less-lethal plastic projectile and the man surrendered to police without further incident.
Officers transported the man to hospital for assessment, which occurs after any incident in which an ARWEN round is utilized on a person. The man was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, and once medically cleared he was transported to VicPD cells.
The man was later released from custody with a court date and conditions. Bill C-75, which came into effect nationally in 2019, legislated a “principle of restraint” that requires police to release an accused person at the earliest possible opportunity after considering certain factors which include the likelihood the accused will attend court, the imminence of the risk posed to public safety, and the impact on confidence in the criminal justice system. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides that every person has the right to liberty and the presumption of innocence pre-trial. Police are also asked to consider the circumstances of Indigenous or vulnerable persons in the process, in order to address the disproportionate impacts that the criminal justice system has on these populations.
If you have information about this incident, please call our non-emergency line at (250) 995-7654 and press 1 to speak with the Report Desk. To report what you know anonymously, please call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.