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Violence at homeless camp

A man was attacked at a Vancouver homeless camp Friday as tensions mount due to a looming eviction deadline.

Those living in the homeless encampment had until noon Friday to move out, but occupants refused to move.

The tension boiled over at a news conference when an advocate for the campers attacked a local resident, pushing him to the ground.

The man was riding past the camp on a bike and loudly complained about some people living on the lot.

The cyclist alleged people living in the camp were responsible for bike thefts in the area.

Several bikes and bike parts were visible Friday morning, piled high on a rack and in a shopping cart at the encampment. A partially dismantled scooter was also seen on the property.

The campers denied the bikes were stolen.

Others approached the cyclist, who agreed that there is a need for solutions to poverty, but continued his argument about connections between the encampment and property crime.

As the argument with advocates and residents got heated, a man started to push the cyclist away.

The cyclist and another advocate then became engaged in an argument which quickly escalated with the two men swearing at each other with their faces centimetres apart, before the advocate placed his hands near the cyclist's throat and shoved him away, knocking him off his bike and onto the road.

After more yelling between the cyclist and advocates, the cyclist rode away seemingly unharmed.

The camp was ordered emptied because the city plans on building a housing project on the site.

But advocates said the housing is inadequate and comes with too many rules.

- with files from CTV Vancouver



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