Charges recommended against suspect in Sunset Beach stabbing
VANCOUVER -- Police are recommending charges against a 25-year-old man, the suspect in Wednesday’s stabbing on Sunset Beach.
“The suspect was allegedly skateboarding on the walking path of the seawall when he collided with a jogger,” said Const. Tania Visintin with the Vancouver police. “The jogger was uninjured; the jogger got up and continued on his way.”
Moments later, a man and a woman approached the suspect and told him not to skateboard on the seawall, explained police.
“This obviously aggravated the suspect. An argument ensued,” said Visintin. “While these parties were arguing a 33-year-old man came up and stopped this argument. He was then stabbed by the suspect.”
Police say there is no connection between the suspect or anyone involved in the altercation.
“There’s certain areas in the city where skateboarding is allowed. It isn’t allowed on sidewalks or roadways,” said Visintin.
Neighbours and witnesses told CTV News they saw various parts of the incident around 4:15 in the afternoon.
“I just started hearing some yelling just put it down put it down,” said Jeff Carrie, who lives nearby. “I couldn’t tell who had the knife.”
Carrie said he couldn’t see the attack because it happened behind the snack stand, but he saw the suspect take off running towards Beach Avenue.
“I didn’t see the arrest itself, I just saw a guy lying on the floor and the police was on them,” said Ali Ghassemi, who also lives nearby.
A photo from the scene shows an officer pinning someone to the ground.
“With the help of some great witnesses, officers were able to locate and arrest the suspect shortly after the incident happened,” said Visintin.
The VPD has recommended charges of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon to Crown. Visintin said the suspect is known to them.
But this is not the only example of violence at our downtown beaches.
“This month alone four violent incidents in and around downtown Vancouver beaches have occurred,” said Visintin.
During Thursday’s news conference she explained this was the fourth example but each has had “kind of the same theme.”
Visintin said one of them was much like Wednesday’s, where an argument led to a person being stabbed.
In another example, she said someone tried to steal a beer bottle from someone else and they were threatened with a box cutter.
And the last one happened with a random person confronted a group at English Bay with a broken bottle, and was threatening passersby.
“Things are unpredictable and you never know what you’re going to get when you encounter anybody,” she said, adding that in each case police made an arrest.
But as to what might explain the recent rash of violence on Vancouver beaches, Visintin told CTV News there’s no rhyme or reason, simply that the downtown core has changed.
“We do have designated officers who are responsible for responding to beaches, patrolling beaches, ensuring everybody’s staying safe,” she said, adding those patrols started over the weekend.
“There’s absolutely no need whatsoever for anyone to carry a weapon on them at any time,” said Visintin. “We ask that people call police if there’s an altercation that they witness or that they’re involved in, that they get to a safe place and call us right away.”