Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Victoria, BC – An armed man who randomly robbed and assaulted multiple people at knifepoint was taken into custody after being tackled by a Patrol officer Friday night.
At approximately 11:30 pm on Friday, March 17, multiple people called 911 to report that a man armed with a knife was chasing people downtown. Callers reported that at least one person had been injured. Every available officer responded to the area and the first officer to arrive located the man near the intersection of Yates and Vancouver streets.
The first officer on scene drew their duty pistol and moved to arrest the armed man while issuing voice commands for the man to stop. The man turned and fled. The officer holstered their pistol and chased after the man on foot.
While he was chasing the man, the officer deployed his conducted energy weapon (CEW). Despite the probes striking the suspect, the deployment proved to be ineffective. The officer then closed the distance and tackled the armed man to the ground. Additional responding officers arrived and assisted in taking the man into custody. Officers recovered a knife during the arrest.
Officers then learned that the man had robbed and assaulted three people at knifepoint, and possibly stabbed a fourth, all within a short period of time.
Summary of assaults and robberies
The first victim reported that they were walking with a friend on Yates Street near Vancouver Street when they were approached by the suspect. They told officers the man held a knife to the victim’s throat, threatened to kill them and demanded money. The victim’s friend called 911 and the man fled. The victim was not physically injured in the attack.
A second victim was nearby in the 900-block of Yates Street when the man approached them. The victim reported the man claimed to have stabbed two people, brandished a knife and demanded money. The man then moved the knife towards the victim, who took hold of the man’s hand and began to fight for control of the knife. The victim fled from the man, leaving their belongings behind. The man chased after the victim while armed with the knife, prompting multiple 911 calls. The victim was able to elude the armed man and also called police. They suffered a non-life-threatening laceration to their hand.
Soon after, the suspect tackled a person to the ground in the area of View and Blanshard streets. The suspect again brandished a knife and robbed the victim. A bystander attempted to intervene, which caused the suspect to flee the area with the victim’s belongings. The victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Video timeline of the knifepoint attacks and robberies
Officers were later put in contact with another potential victim who was in the area when the robberies and assaults occurred and had suffered a non-life-threatening stab wound to the chest. Officers are working to determine if this person’s injuries are related to the above incidents. Officers believe there may be additional victims who have yet to come forward.
Officer and taxi driver injured, vehicles damaged during emergency response crash
A VicPD officer and a taxi driver suffered non-life-threatening injuries during a crash at Cook and Yates streets which occurred as officers were responding to the armed man. Two VicPD vehicles and the taxi were damaged in the crash. Both the VicPD officer and the taxi driver were transported by BC Emergency Health Services paramedics to hospital, where they were treated and released. The intersection remained closed for several hours while evidence was gathered. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Suspect faces multiple recommended charges
Following his arrest, the suspect complained of leg pain and was transported to hospital for evaluation. He was determined to be uninjured and transported back to VicPD cells, where he was held until a tele bail hearing. He was remanded in custody and held for court.
During the course of their investigation officers learned that the man had an outstanding arrest warrant and was also violating a court-ordered condition not to possess knives.
While these incidents remain under investigation, the man faces a series of recommended charges, including multiple charges for assault with a weapon and robbery, obstruction of a police officer and breaching court-ordered conditions.
If you have information about any of these incidents, or were robbed and/or assaulted, please call the VicPD Report Desk at (250) 995-7654 extension 1.
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