A security guard is hoping to spread awareness following a dangerous encounter in northeast Calgary earlier this week.
“I was honestly in shock,” Tri-West Security guard Jake Goudie said. “I’d never had anything like that happen to me before.”
Goudie said he was patrolling an area around the community of Mayland Heights early Tuesday morning when he noticed a suspicious person walking out from behind a building.
“He was carrying a large machete and was hacking at bushes and trees and that kind of thing,” Goudie said. “He was yelling and screaming and seemed to have some kind of issue.”
Goudie immediately called the Calgary Police Service (CPS) and continued to follow the man from the safety of his vehicle.
However within in a short time Goudie said the incident escalated.
“He turned and began sprinting at my vehicle and honestly, I had never had anything happen like this before,” he said.
“I was quite shocked, especially that something like that could happen in this community.”
Goudie said the man lunged at the security vehicle, damaging the driver-side door with the machete before police officers and the K-9 unit arrived moments later.
The incident hits close to home for Goudie’s father, Bryan, who also works for Tri-West Security.
“You’re checking at businesses where you know people have had problems,” Bryan explained. “So you know the chance of running into someone is greater.”
“I’m really proud of him but I’m mostly glad he’s safe.”
Both men said they believe there’s been an increase in incidents involving their colleagues since the pandemic hit.
“We’ve had bear spray incidents involving guards,” Goudie said.
“Three weeks ago we almost had a guard run over for asking a customer to wear a mask.”
“People in difficult situations who have maybe lost their job, even with the oil industry in the last couple of years, there’s been an uptick in theft and that sort of thing,” Bryan added.
Meanwhile, Calgary police said they are aware of Tuesday’s incident but consider crime in the community of Mayland Heights to be relatively low.
“Random violent crime is rare in the area and I believe this is an isolated incident,” CPS Const. Brad Bliek said in an email. “Most of the community concerns that I am hearing… relate to vulnerable people in the area and minor property crime.”
The annual report from CPS also highlights that some crimes in 2020 saw a double-digit decline.
Violent crimes dropped by 11 per cent compared to 2019 and property crimes were down 16 per cent in the same period.
However, the report also underlined that the full picture of the socioeconomic impacts brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic are evolving.
“We know that with the link between crime and the economy, particularly unemployment, and the longer‐term impact of the pandemic on crime and calls for service is yet to be realized,” the report said.
Despite the unnerving confrontation, Goudie hopes to one day be a police officer and in the end is glad someone in the community wasn’t hurt.
“If it wasn’t me, it could have been someone out for a bike ride or walking their dog.”
-with files from Adam Toy