WARNING: This story contains disturbing video posted to social media that features strong language. Discretion is advised.
A large crowd leaving a Vancouver music festival got a front-row seat to a dramatic police takedown of a stabbing suspect Sunday night.
Vancouver police said on Monday that they were called to the McDonald’s restaurant at East Hastings Street and Cassiar Street just after 10 p.m. for reports of a stabbing near a bus stop outside.
Officers found the suspect, 22-year-old Surrey resident Jany Wan, near the bus stop and attempted to arrest him at gunpoint, but police say the suspect was uncooperative.
The suspect was eventually arrested after officers used a Taser to subdue him, allowing them to pull the man to the ground.
“Sometimes force doesn’t look pretty. And in this particular case what people are referring to is a very small part of a bigger incident. There was a lot of things that played out prior to this,” said Vancouver police Sgt. Jason Robillard on Monday.
RAW VIDEO: Vancouver Police use guided energy weapon to assist in arrest of stabbing suspect
“In this case it was alleged that the suspect that was being arrested on film and on several cell phone cameras had allegedly stabbed somebody in a recent altercation, and in our officers knowledge may or may not have been in possession of a weapon.”
Police say a knife was recovered at the scene, and the suspect, who appeared in court Monday on a charge of assault with a weapon, was treated for a cut to his hand that he had reportedly received before police arrived.
The victim, a 22-year-old Langley man, was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect and the victim allegedly had a “verbal dispute” that led to the alleged stabbing, according to police.
“The victim and the suspect did not appear to know each other prior to this incident, and they were among a crowd of people who had exited a nearby music festival,” said Robillard.
Both men were part of a large crowd of people who had left the nearby Breakout Festival at the PNE Amphitheater, which is billed as “Canada’s only all hip-hop music festival.”
Several of those people witnessed the takedown first hand, with at least one person posting video to social media that has since been shared widely.
The man who posted the video, Angus Reid, said he was taking the bus when he saw the takedown unfold, and was shocked by what he saw as racially motivated actions from police.
Reid compared the officers’ response to police violence against young black residents he’s witnessed in California’s Bay Area where he lives most of the year, and isn’t convinced the suspect wasn’t injured when he was forced to the ground.
“I’m angry about the presence of military grade weapons, about the racialized violence, and about the fact that this was happening in a crowd of people who generally seemed to be teenagers,” he said.
It is a claim Robillard denied Monday.
“Race played no role in this,” he said. “What this was was a violent offender.”
—With files from Sarah MacDonald