A Vancouver teen has been charged with three counts of assault in relation to a series of unprovoked attacks along the seawall last weekend.
The 15-year-old was arrested and jailed on Saturday night after three people were randomly assaulted on the seawall near Olympic Village, police said in a Monday news release.
The first victim, a 57-year-old man, called officers shortly after 9:15 p.m. and reported that a teen had chased him, punched him and kicked him, police said. They found two additional victims while searching for the suspect — two women who also said were also punched without reason.
The teen has since been released.
It was one of several violent crimes in the city over the weekend.
Between Friday and Monday morning, Vancouver police said they dealt with two stabbings, a robbery and assault with a broken bottle, an attack with a makeshift stun gun, and an assault with bear spray. They also said one woman had rocks thrown at her by a stranger on Drake Street, while another man was kicked by a stranger while leaving a 24-hour coffee shop.
Three suspects were arrested and jailed, and one was apprehended under the B.C. Mental Health Act. A number of the victims were injured and taken to the hospital.
Several investigations are ongoing.
“This level of violence in a single weekend is concerning, especially when the incidents involve stranger-on-stranger attacks and weapons like knives, bear spray, and other make-shift weapons,” said Sgt. Steve Addison in the news release.
“In each of these cases, police were able to identify and arrest suspects, or secure valuable evidence, because people quickly called 911.”
Violent crime in Vancouver increased 7.1 per cent in 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels, he added.
Vancouver Police Department data also shows an average of four people are the victims of random, groundless attacks by strangers every day — figures that don’t include barfights, robberies, incidents of road rage or other assaults where the individuals are known to each other.
Some of the perpetrators in the city have records of between 200 and 500 previous police interactions.
Of police calls involving a “mental health component,” Vancouver Dept. Chief Const. Howard Chow has also said about 84 per cent involve violence, danger or criminality, and 12 per cent involve weapons.
Twenty-six per cent of the calls come from health-care providers in need of police assistance.