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Vancouver police say 60 assaults reported over Family Day weekend

22 cases are being investigated as possible stranger assaults
A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Saturday, January 9, 2021. The Vancouver Police Board will hear a report Thursday recommending the force change its handcuffing policy after the arrest of an Indigenous man and his granddaughter at a bank in 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Vancouver Police say they are investigating 60 assaults over the Family Day long weekend, 22 of which are being investigated as stranger assaults.

In a Twitter thread, the police shared at least six incidents of assault that occurred over the weekend.

On Friday afternoon, a woman walked into a grocery store on Richards Street that she had previously been banned from. When the manager asked her to leave, she threw a flower pot at him. She left but later returned and threatened to pepper spray the manager.

On Friday night, a concierge of a downtown residential building on Seymour Street was punched in the face after asking a food delivery driver to wear a face mask while in the lobby or wait outside.

Hours later, police responded to an altercation on Granville Street where a 25-year-old man was critically stabbed after two men got into an argument. A 21-year-old man from Surrey was arrested at the crime scene, and the investigation is ongoing. The victim is expected to survive.

VPD Sgt. Steve Addison said that additional officers were placed downtown on Friday night as COVID-19 restrictions on bars, nightclubs and capacity limits had all been lifted.

“Large crowds began entering the downtown core in the early evening, with some lining up early at nightclubs and hundreds wandering the entertainment areas. This led to multiple conflicts on the street.”

The VPD also shared instances of multiple assaults that occurred on Saturday. On Saturday morning, a man was followed after getting off a transit bus in southeast Vancouver by two men who assaulted him causing injuries to his face and head. The VPD were also contacted after a man was found unconscious in a laneway near Davie Street who had been beaten and robbed of his backpack and money.

Later Saturday night, a staff member at a West Hastings Hotel was punched in the face after asking an unruly guest to leave. The man then became confrontational with others in the hotel lobby. Police say the man resisted arrest but was quickly taken into custody.

Only six of the 60 incidents were recounted on Twitter by the VPD and the police force has only issued a news release for the stabbing on Granville. Black Press has reached out to the VPD for more details.

Police have been sounding the alarm about violence in Vancouver for several months now. A recent audit by the VPD found that roughly four people are victims of random assaults in Vancouver every day.

READ MORE: 1,705 people victims of unprovoked assaults in Vancouver since September 2020, police say

READ MORE: Unprovoked disturbing assault on homeless man leaves Vancouver police looking for suspect


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