UPDATED: Vancouver police confronted by angry crowd while arresting armed teen in Downtown Eastside

Three arrested in melee at Main and Hastings

Vancouver police officers attempting to make an arrest Thursday afternoon in the Downtown Eastside had to call for backup after being confronted by an angry crowd.

It all started when two officers patrolling the area saw a teen armed with a large machete and bear spray at Main and East Hastings. The officers tried to arrest the 17-year-old who, according to police, was resisting when an angry crowd of people gathered to confront them.

article continues below

Media relations officer Sgt. Jason Robillard could not say how many people were confronting police but described a crowd as “typically three or more people.”

“It escalated quite quickly resulting in them having to call for additional officers and call for cover,” he said. “The crowd appeared to be quite angry and came at the officers.”

One person threw a metal water bottle, narrowly missing an officer’s head.

“From a policing perspective, the Downtown Eastside is probably one of the most challenging environments to work at for a police officer probably in all of Canada,” Robillard said. “It’s a very challenging environment.”

The 17-year-old, a Surrey resident, was taken into custody and is facing charges of possessing drugs for the purpose of trafficking, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

A 34-year-old Vancouver man was arrested a short time later for throwing the water bottle. He was also found to be in possession of a large machete and bear spray. He is now facing an assault charge related to possession of a weapon to be used against a police officer. He is also believed to be in breach of several court-ordered conditions.

A third man, who is 20, was arrested for breach of the peace. Robillard said both the teen and the 20-year-old man are known to police.

“We can say that they are known to the officers in the area to be involved in the local drug trade,” he said.

With a file from John Kurucz

This story has been updated since it was originally posted.


Read Related Topics


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Vancouver Courier welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

Popular Vancouver Courier

Sign Up For Our e-Newsletter!
Find the Vancouver Courier Newspaper