Suspect in 'despicable' East Vancouver attack on 92-year-old identified
VANCOUVER -- The suspect in an alleged assault on an elderly man at an East Vancouver convenience store has turned himself in to police, according to a man who identified himself as the suspect’s son.
CTV News has confirmed through multiple sources that the suspect recorded on store surveillance video on March 13 is named Jamie Bezanson.
Court records and public documents indicate Bezanson lives in East Vancouver and is a longshoreman.
The man identifying himself as the suspect’s son told CTV News his father had turned himself in to police, and was told there would be no charges.
Vancouver police late Thursday would only confirm they have not made any arrests but have identified a suspect.
However, Vancouver Police Const. Tania Visintin followed up Friday, telling CTV News: "I (can’t) get into specifics on who we have identified as the suspect until charges are laid, but I can say that we have NOT told anyone they will not be charged."
A spokesperson for the BC Prosecution Service said they were not involved in the case.
When the Vancouver Police Department released the surveillance video publicly on Wednesday, they described the incident as being racially motivated, and said it began when the victim, who has what they called "severe" dementia, wandered into the store.
Police say staff at the shop near 1st Avenue and Nanaimo Street were trying to assist the 92-year-old Asian man when the suspect started shouting anti-Asian remarks. Some of the comments were allegedly related to COVID-19.
Police said the altercation continued outside the store, where it is alleged the elderly man was shoved. He fell to the ground and hit his head, police said. It does not appear he was seriously injured. By the time officers got to the store, police say the suspect was gone.
“Everything about this assault, and the behaviour of the suspect is despicable,” Cpl. Tania Visintin said at a news conference Wednesday.
It’s unclear why police waited over a month to release the surveillance video.
On Thursday, the suspect’s son said his father didn’t make any racist remarks or reference Covid-19, calling those allegations “100 per cent false.”
CTV News has also made several attempts to reach out to Bezanson through his son, but has not yet heard back.