Investigators are questioning whether a man who allegedly stole two vehicles and rammed six police vehicles in Burnaby last night was specifically targeting police.
Police say just after 1 a.m. on Sunday a 38-year-old man in a stolen Jeep rammed into an empty police cruiser parked outside the Lougheed Community Police Office, a location where police vehicles are parked when not in use.
The man then climbed out of the Jeep and stole a 5-tonne truck police believe was rented to Walmart, and smashed into another few police cars.
Six police cars in total were damaged, including an unmarked car and a community policing vehicle.
“This absolutely looks like it was targeted against police but whether it was his opportunity just to see a number of vehicles here and just cause some damage or was it actually a police targeted incident is what we are determining,” RCMP Insp. Conrad Golbeck said. “This is very unusual.”None of the vehicles were occupied and no police were injured in the incident.
The suspect was arrested as he tried to flee the scene on foot and was taken to Burnaby General Hospital for assessment.
While at the hospital, police say the man damaged an automatic sprinkler head, resulting in flooding and water damage to a section of the emergency room.
“There was a significant amount of water that entered a section of the emergency department,” said Tasleem Juma, spokesperson for Fraser Health Authority. “There was a handful of patients that were in the area at the time and have been moved to other areas of the hospital.”
Juma said no patients or staff were injured in the incident.
While the damage to the building is assessed and restoration work takes place, BC Ambulance service is being diverted and patients are being asked to go to a neighbouring hospital if possible, Juma said. It is not yet know how soon the closed sectioned will be re-opened.
Police say the investigation into the incident is ongoing but the suspect could face multiple charges including vehicle theft, obstruction and damage to property.