Vancouver Police responded to more than 1,800 incidents between Friday and Monday, as the season’s first heat wave brought huge crowds to the city’s parks and beaches.
Sgt. Steve Addison said that was an increase of 36 per cent from the same time last year, and a 250-per-cent increase for calls to beaches in the area.
“While the vast majority of people stayed safe and acted responsibly, whenever we see this many people gathering outside, there’s bound to be more incidents requiring police,” said Addison, adding that warm weather “always brings more people to the city from surrounding communities.”
Police said it was the third-busiest weekend for 2023, behind only spring break and St. Patrick’s Day.
Some of the calls included someone being bear sprayed, a stabbing, fires and someone flashing a handgun outside of a nightclub.
A Vancouver man, 23, was partying with a group of people at English Bay on Friday (May 12) when he was bear sprayed. Police say the suspect “suspect disappeared into the crowd” and wasn’t found.
A 16-year-old boy was stabbed multiple times near Davie and Denman streets Friday, suffering “several superficial wounds” and being treated at hospital. Police say the investigation is ongoing, and while a suspect hasn’t yet been identified, the victim said he had been stabbed by another teen.
Also on Friday, officers in the Granville Entertainment District were flagged over outside the Roxy nightclub after people waiting in line reported that a man had flashed a gun at them. The VPD’s gang crime unit arrested the suspect, a 19-year-old Surrey man, walking near Granville and Robson streets a few minutes later and seized a loaded handgun.
On the city’s west side Friday, officers were called after a man allegedly assaulted a stranger with a knife inside the locker room at Hillcrest Community Centre. Police say the suspect, 32-year-old Vancouver man, initially fled the scene, but was arrested and charged with assault with a weapon, uttering threats, and possession of a weapon for dangerous purpose.
Five “armed and dangerous suspects who attempted to evade police” were arrested Friday in South Vancouver. Police say two firearms were seized.
In the Downtown Eastside, police say there was a robbery investigation early Sunday morning “after someone pick-pocketed a man who was unconscious and overdosing” near Main and Hastings streets. A 34-year-old suspect was arrested.