A Vancouver teenager has been charged with three counts of assault in connection with a series of unprovoked attacks along the seawall last weekend.
The 15-year-old was arrested and jailed on Saturday night after three people were randomly assaulted on the sea wall near the Olympic Village, police said in a press release on Monday.
The first victim, a 57-year-old man, called officers shortly after 9:15 p.m. and reported that a teenager had chased, punched and kicked him, police said. They found two other victims while searching for the suspect – two women who also said they had been punched for no reason.
The teenager has since been released.
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It was one of many violent crimes committed in the city over the weekend.
Between Friday and Monday morning, Vancouver police said they were victims of two stab wounds, a robbery and assault with a broken bottle, an attack with a makeshift stun gun and an assault with bear spray. They also said a woman had stones thrown at her by a stranger in Drake Street, while another man was kicked by a stranger as he left a 24-hour cafe.
Three suspects have been arrested and jailed, and one has been apprehended under British Columbia’s Mental Health Act. Several victims were injured and taken to hospital.
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Several investigations are underway.
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“This level of violence in a single weekend is concerning, especially when the incidents involve attacks between strangers and weapons like knives, bear bombs and other makeshift weapons,” said Sgt. Steve Addison in the press release.
“In each of these cases, police were able to identify and arrest suspects, or obtain valuable evidence, as people quickly called 911.”
Violent crime in Vancouver is up 7.1% in 2021 from pre-pandemic levels, he added.
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Vancouver Police Department data also shows that an average of four people are victims of random, baseless attacks by strangers each day – figures that do not include fights, robberies, rage incidents in the stealing or other assaults where individuals know each other.
Some of the city’s perpetrators have records of 200 to 500 prior police interactions.
Among the police calls involving a “mental health component” was the Vancouver Department of Police Chief. Howard Chow also said that about 84% involve violence, danger, or crime, and 12% involve weapons.
Twenty-six percent of calls are from health care providers who need police assistance.
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