Vancouver police are once again raising alarm bells about safety in Oppenheimer Park after an assault and another seizure of weapons.
Early Tuesday morning, officers were called to the park after a man was allegedly assaulted in one of the tents. Police said the 32-year-old was hit in the face with the handle of an axe and sustained minor injuries.
While investigating the assault, officers located the axe believed to be used in the assault, as well as two additional axes, six knives and one bolt cutter, all inside the tent.
The seizure comes one week after VPD announced the seizure of a significant cache of weapons, including nine guns, more than 30 knives, machetes and axes.
“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,” Sgt. Aaron Roed, VPD media relations officer, said in a press release.
“We continue to issue warnings about crime stemming from the park, which is showing no signs of slowing down.”
Roed said no arrests have been made in that case and police continue to investigate.
Additionally, on Wednesday morning VPD officers in patrol on the area noticed that one of the tents in the park was on fire. Roed said the officers called Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, and cleared the area, helping people leave the park for public safety.
Propane and aerosol containers in the tent exploded, severely damaging the tent.
“This fire could have gotten out of hand very quickly,” Roed said. “It was fortunate no one was injured.”
No one claimed ownership of the tent.
The department said it will “continue to maintain a highly visible presence in and around Oppenheimer Park, working with the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Fire and Rescue, and the Vancouver Park Board, on safety issues related to the park.”
— With files from John Kurucz