A 26-year-old gas station attendant, who was working his very first shift, said he was “scared” as he fled for his life when a chainsaw-wielding man entered the Summerland, B.C., business.
“It was scary, it was really scary,” Aman Bansal told Global News on Monday, three days after the terrifying incident.
RCMP said a 44-year-old Penticton man was arrested Friday after he walked into the Trout Creek Liquor Store and adjacent Centex gas station, at approximately 6:30 p.m., with a chainsaw.
“Summerland RCMP responded to a report of a lone male using a chainsaw to damage the inside of a liquor store and gas station located in the 6000 block of Highway 97,” Cst. James Grandy said in a statement.
“All occupants of the businesses were able to leave without being harmed, while front-line officers contained the scene.”
Bansal said a liquor store customer directed him to call the police as the man barricaded himself inside the store.
“One of the customers came to my store and said, ‘Call 911, there is a guy with a running chainsaw.’ so I was trying to call 911 and I went outside to see if it was actually happening or not,” he said.
Then the suspect entered the gas station. Bansal was the only one inside the store at the time. He fled unharmed.
“He locked himself in with the ice cream machine to the gate. He didn’t hurt anybody. We had to run to save ourselves. He let me go. He said, ‘Get out,” Bansal said.
“The cops told us to leave. The standoff was around 45 minutes to an hour.”
The suspect was eventually apprehended and is facing multiple charges, police said.
“The motive for the incident is unknown, however, drugs are suspected to have been a contributing factor,” Grandy said.
Court records indicate Robert Austin Teal appeared in Penticton provincial court on Oct. 25 to face five criminal charges, including robbery, two counts of mischief under $5,000, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, and breach of a probation order.