Police handle 'concerning' weekend violence, including makeshift stun gun attack, robbery with bear spray

Rash of weekend violence

Police in Vancouver were kept busy this weekend with a variety of violent incidents, ranging from a man being shocked with a makeshift stun gun to one woman robbing another with broken bottle to multiple stabbings.

"This level of violence in a single weekend is concerning, especially when the incidents involve stranger-on-stranger attacks and weapons like knives, bear spray, and other make-shift weapons,” says VPD Sgt. Steve Addison.

Among the incidents police responded to since April 29 was a late-night robbery at 1 a.m. Monday, May 2. A woman walking near the intersection of West Pender and Homer streets was approached, assaulted and robbed by another woman carrying a broken bottle. After the robbery the victim kept her eyes on the suspect and called police when the suspect went to a convenience store.

Officers were able to respond immediately and arrested the suspect who now faces robbery and assault with a weapon charges. The victim received facial wounds.

Bear spray assault, rock thrown at stranger, makeshift stun gun

Earlier in the weekend, a group of teenagers were at Leeside Skatepark Saturday when a stranger assaulted one with bear spray and stole the victim's skateboard. The teen is ok and police are investigating.

In another case a woman was walking along Drake Street on Sunday afternoon when a stranger threw a rock at her. He missed (the rock hit and damaged a car) and ran away. The victim fled and called 911. Officers were able to locate the suspect and he was arrested for assault with a weapon and mischief.

The same afternoon police also responded to Main and Hastings streets after a 38-year-old man was shocked in the leg by someone with a makeshift stun gun. The suspect and an accomplice fled the scene. Police are investigating and say the suspect is a 47-year-old woman.

There were also a stabbing not far away this weekend on East Hastings Street. On April 29 a 29-year-old man was stabbed in the abdomen. He told a witness who called 911. The victim's injuries are not life-threatening and he's not cooperating with police.

A pair of related violent events happened over the weekend in a social housing building in Strathcona. In that case a fight between neighbours turned violent on Saturday night and one man was stabbed in the arm. The suspect was taken to jail but no charges followed. Later this weekend police were called again as the two men got into another fight.

This time the man who had been stabbed Saturday night was arrested for assault with a weapon after the suspect in the first fight received knife wounds.

Weekend incidents also included a homicide and bomb scare on Marathon route

Addison notes that these incidents happened on top of other, larger police incidents.

“Several serious crimes and large-scale public events kept VPD stretched thin throughout the weekend,” says Sgt. Steve Addison. “Our officers responded to multiple stabbings and unprovoked attacks, investigated the year’s third homicide, dealt with a bomb scare, and provided extensive traffic support along the 42-kilometre BMO Vancouver Marathon route.”

He notes that in many cases the quick calls to 911 by victims or witnesses helped police immensely.

Police are also investigating the smashing of the Gastown steam clock and had to deal with multiple random attacks along the seawall in Olympic Village.

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