UPDATE: VicPD defend decision not to warn public after initial attack

String of assaults downtown Wednesday night left several people with serious injuries

Victoria Police are defending their decision not to issue a public warning after a Wednesday morning assault that later came to be linked to a string of assaults believed to have been committed by the same person.

Nine hours after the initial attack, the suspect was arrested in relation to a series of assaults using a field hockey stick as a weapon.

When asked why the public wasn’t warned sooner, community engagement officer Bowen Osoko said that police believed the earlier attack was isolated.

“There was nothing in the earlier incident that can point to what occurred later and it is only once the suspect was taken into custody that the link between the incidents was able to be made,” he said.

He added that the volume of calls police regularly receive makes it difficult to issue public warnings after all such calls.

“In 2018 we’ve had 487 assault calls so far. That’s an average of 3.6 assault calls a day,” he said in an emailed statement. “Due the sheer volume of the numbers of these types of calls, from a resource perspective it is simply not possible to effectively warn the public of the potential of a further assault each time an assault occurs in our jurisdiction. Instead, we focus on investigating each incident, and where the investigation points to a risk to the public, we then act.”

Numerous charges have been recommended against the man. Patrol officers were called to the area near Pandora Avenue and Store Street after the report of an assault at 9:45 p.m.

As officers were attending the scene, multiple other 911 calls were made involving similar incidents. Multiple victims have been identified, all sustaining non-life threatening injuries. The suspect also damaged property as he moved through the downtown area.

Multiple sources claim a man assaulted several people with a field hockey stick, starting near Pandora and Fisgard before moving to Bastion Square, and heading towards Humboldt and Douglas streets, where police were able to stop him and take him into custody.

Alex Lopez was working at the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour near that intersection when he saw the flashing lights.

“I was cleaning the concierge lounge at that time and I saw lots of police,” he said, noting that it was 10:01 p.m.

Lopez also said kept an eye on things and by 10:17 p.m. he saw one man on a stretcher being loaded onto an ambulance.

Investigators are recommending several charges including:

  • 2 counts of aggravated assault
  • 3 counts of assault causing bodily harm
  • 5 counts of assault with a weapon
  • 1 count of mischief
  • several counts of breach of probation

Police are asking witnesses and victims of assault or victims of damage to their property to please come forward.

Anyone with additional information can call the Victoria Police Department at 250-995-7654 or can call anonymously to the Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-888-8477.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Esquimalt man faces four charges of sexual assault, investigators suspect more victims

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Pet-A-Palooza a good reason to ‘pawse’ this weekend in Victoria

Puppies, goats, wiener dog races and more on the grounds of St. Ann’s Academy Aug. 18-19

Heat and smoke raises health risks

Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror Health risks arising from heat and… Continue reading

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Victoria Lavender owner set to retire

Sidney storefront to remain open, future of goat yoga undecided

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Most Read