The suspect in a series of random, unprovoked attacks over the weekend is just 15 years old, according to Vancouver police.
The teen has been charged after a weekend of violence, crimes and major incidents that kept officers extremely busy.
“Several serious crimes and large-scale public events kept VPD stretched thin throughout the weekend,” said Vancouver police Sgt. Steve Addison in a statement. “Our officers responded to multiple stabbings and unprovoked attacks, investigated the year’s third homicide, dealt with a bomb scare, and provided extensive traffic support along the 42-kilometre BMO Vancouver Marathon route.”
An update on the investigation into the teenage attacker and other crimes was expected Monday afternoon.
The 15-year-old from East Vancouver was arrested on Saturday night after three people were attacked on the seawall near the Olympic Village. A 57-year-old victim called police around 9:15 pm after he was chased along the seawall by the teen, who punched and kicked him several times.
While looking for the suspect, police discovered two other victims, both women, who had also been punched without provocation.
The teen was found still in the area and taken to jail. He was charged with three counts of assault and released.
That wasn’t the only violent incident over the weekend, including:
• A 31-year-old woman had a rock thrown at her as she walked along Drake Street on Sunday afternoon. It missed, but a 45-year-old suspect was arrested nearby and charged with an assault with a weapon and mischief.
• A 31-year-old woman walking near West Pender and Homer Street at 1 am Monday suffered facial injuries when she was robbed by a woman holding a broken bottle. The victim watched the suspect go into a convenience store and called 911. The alleged attacker is facing charges of robbery and assault with a weapon.
• A man leaving an all-night coffee shop near Station Street and Terminal Avenue on Friday was followed and kicked by a stranger. He called 911, and a 43-year-old man inside the coffee shop was apprehended under the Mental Health Act and taken to hospital.
• A 29-year-old man was stabbed in the abdomen Friday while walking on East Hastings Street in the Downtown Eastside. The victim ran away and told a witness who called 911. The victim, whose injuries aren’t life-threatening, is not co-operating with police.
• A teenager with friends at Leeside Skatepark near Empire Field was assaulted by a stranger with bear spray and had his skateboard stolen on Saturday afternoon. He was not seriously injured and there has been no arrest.
• A 38-year-old man was shocked in the leg with a homemade stun gun near Main and Hastings on Sunday afternoon. A 47-year-old woman suspected in the assault took off with an accomplice before police could arrest her.
• Police were called to a social housing building in Strathcona on Saturday night after a 33-year-old man was stabbed in the arm by a neighbor during a fight. The victim was treated for stitches and the suspect was arrested then released. The pair started fighting two days later, and the suspect in the original stabbing was himself stabbed. The original victim was then arrested for assault and taken to jail.
“This level of violence in a single weekend is concerning, especially when the incidents involve stranger-on-stranger attacks and weapons like knives, bear spray and other make-shift weapons,” said Addison.
He noted that violent crime increased 7.1 per cent in Vancouver last year compared with pre-pandemic levels.
Anyone who sees incidents such as these or is a victim of violent crime is urged to call 911 immediately.