Victim, witnesses sought in downtown Vancouver stranger attack

Vancouver police say they've identified a suspect in a recent stranger attack caught on video. Investigators are now appealing for the victim of the Nov. 1 incident to come forward.

Vancouver police are appealing to the victim of a recent stranger attack in the city’s downtown core to come forward.

Police say they have identified a suspect in the Nov. 1 incident, which was captured on camera.

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According to police, the man was seen pacing around near Burrard and Drake streets around 9:30 p.m. holding a “large stick” and “lashing out towards pedestrians and vehicles.”

“At one point in the video, the man aims the stick and chases a pedestrian at full speed. Moments later, he points the stick at a person who has their back turned to him, then gets on a bus,” police said in a media release Wednesday.

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Patrol officers identified the suspect on a later call about a disturbance at a social housing complex near Cambie and Dunsmuir streets, police said.

According to police, the 26-year-old West End resident, who was already wanted on a warrant for an unrelated offence, claimed to have a gun and tried to flee but was arrested by officers.

The person who was chased with the stick did not report the incident, and police are looking to speak with them or anyone else who witnessed the incident.

Last month, Vancouver police said statistics showed the city was averaging about four random assaults per day over the last year.

While police assert the number of stranger assaults is on the rise, the number of overall assaults citywide has remained relatively constant.

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In the first nine months of 2021, VPD crime stats show 3,508 reported assaults, compared to 3,490 reports in the first nine months of 2020, and 3,405 in the first nine months of 2019.

In September, police said they were bolstering the number of officers in parts of downtown Vancouver amid rising complaints about public safety.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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