Police have arrested a pair of suspects in a violent robbery of an employee outside a Saanich restaurant.
Saanich Police report a 19-year-old man was attacked while on a break from a restaurant on the 300 block of Burnside Road West on June 26.
Two males approached the employee behind the restaurant and asked him for a cigarette. When he denied having more cigarettes, his cellphone was taken, and when the employee asked for its return he was attacked.
Sgt. Steve Eassie said one of the suspects is alleged to have violently choked the victim and threatened to kill him while holding a screwdriver to his neck.
“It’s not something we see an awful lot of,” Eassie said of the crime.
“Thankfully, the victim, although he has some minor bruising and the obvious mental anguish that he’s suffering as a result of this, he is expected to make a full recovery.”
One of the suspects than accompanied the victim inside the restaurant to obtain cigarettes before fleeing on foot.
“It would appear it was simply over cigarettes,” said Eassie. “There could be a whole number of reasons why the suspects chose to engage in this manner, but it certainly appeared to be fairly nonchalant at the beginning and it escalated from there.”
Gene John Golish, 20, was arrested several blocks away. He was remanded in custody and is facing charges of robbery with violence, overcoming resistance by attempting to choke another person, uttering threats and failing to comply with a probation order.
A 17-year-old male from the Mill Bay area was later arrested and released from custody. Police are recommending a charge of robbery with violence against the youth, who cannot be identified.
Eassie said both suspects are known to police.