Weapons seized in Oppenheimer Park after man hit in the face with the handle of an axe
VANCOUVER -- A man was injured in Oppenheimer Park Tuesday after being struck in the face with the handle of an axe, and the incident has prompted another warning from police about the contentious park.
Vancouver police say the 32-year-old man has minor injuries after being hit in the face. When officers arrived on scene to investigate the incident, they not only found the axe, but two other axes, six knives and a bolt cutter inside a tent.
The seizure comes about a week after police released details about another large stash of weapons found in the park.
"Our officers are continuing to deal with multiple seizures of weapons in the park, which raises safety concerns for members of the community, as well as our officers," said Sgt. Aaron Roed in a news release.
"We continue to issue warnings about crime stemming from the park, which is showing no signs of slowing down."
Police are continuing to investigate Tuesday's incident and no arrests have been made.
But that's not the only safety issue the park has seen in the past 24 hours. Early Wednesday morning, emergency crews were called in after a tent caught on fire.
Officials said the fire was reported shortly before 3:30 a.m. and was quickly extinguished. Investigators said they believe the fire was started by smoking materials.
No campers or firefighters were injured in the blaze, but the tent was destroyed.
According to fire officials, it appeared the tent was being used for communal storage and there were concerns propane or aerosol tanks could have been stored inside.
"This fire could have gotten out of hand very quickly," Roed said. "It was fortunate that no one was injured."
The status of the encampment at Oppenheimer Park has been an ongoing source of tension between Downtown Eastside residents, local businesses, the park board and city council over several months.
In December, the Vancouver Park Board, which is responsible for park operations, announced a "decampment plan" for those living in the park. That plan included an injunction ordering campers to leave, but only once certain conditions were met.
But in January, park board staff said they "are still working to confirm a third-party to support the assessment of the decampment of Oppenheimer Park."