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Man with ‘large knife’ arrested at Calgary city hall Tuesday morning

Click to play video: 'Man with ‘large knife’ arrested at Calgary city hall Tuesday morning' Man with ‘large knife’ arrested at Calgary city hall Tuesday morning
Watch: Calgary city hall is expected to be closed for the remainder of the week after a man was arrested Tuesday morning for setting several fires inside. Adam MacVicar reports. – Aug 2, 2022

A man armed with a “large knife” inside Calgary city hall was arrested by police Tuesday morning.

Police and firefighters were called to the building located at the corner of 7 Avenue and Mcleod Trail at around 3:55 a.m.

​CPS said the man gained entry by smashing the glass at the front of the building.

Police told Global News the man set four separate fires on the third floor, causing the sprinkler system to go off.

Although the fire damage is minimal, there is water damage from the sprinkler system and it’s expected the third floor will be off limits for some time according to the Calgary Fire Department (CFD).

Read more: Person, cat displaced after Citadel house fire

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CFD also told Global News that water from the third floor leaked onto the floors below.

​In a news release sent out later Tuesday morning, CPS said the man is a client of the Police and Crisis Team (PACT), and the incident highlights the importance of working with Alberta Health Services to offer assessment, support, and consultation for people experiencing a mental health crisis.

“While in many cases intervention and coordination through our partnership is successful in avoiding a mental health crisis becoming a police matter, unfortunately, there are instances that are violent in nature and require an adequate police response,” said Superintendent Asif Rashid.

The Calgary Fire Department was called to Calgary city hall for reports of four fires allegedly set by a man who broke into the building on Aug. 2, 2022. Global News

“Out of consideration and compassion for the man and his current mental health, we will not release his name. We are relieved that no one was injured and he is now getting the care he needs.”

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The man was taken into custody shortly after police arrived and charges are pending.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek said at a media availability on Tuesday that council will continue to call for an increase in funding for mental health resources and supports in Calgary.

“This is a very good example of when something goes wrong, it has an impact on our citizens,” Gondek said.

Gondek also said there wasn’t a security breach as a result of the incident.

“There was no access to any sensitive or confidential information,” she said.

Though a fire investigator was called in, the battalion chief said it will be up to the police to determine whether an arson investigator should be involved.

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​As of 4:37 p.m., the Calgary Municipal Building remains closed as City of Calgary staff assesses the damage.

“We are still assessing the extent of the damage, but it is significant enough that we believe we have to enact the business continuity plan,” said Carla Male, the City of Calgary’s chief financial officer.

Male did not provide details on how much the damages cost the city. She also did not have any information about an increase in security at this time.

Contingency plans are in place to continue to provide the following services until the building is reopened:

  • A temporary Fair Entry counter will be opened on the third floor of the Central Library, located at 300 Street S.E. Calgarians can also apply online or in-person at Village Square Leisure Centre at 2623 56 Street N.E.
  • Cashier services will also be moved to the third floor of the Central Library effective Thursday.
  • The planning and development counter will be moved to the main floor of the Whitehorn Multi-Services Centre at 3705 35 Street N.E. effective Thursday. Applications for business licenses and permits can be done online. The online chat and call centre will remain open during regular business hours.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact police by calling 403-266-1234.

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