Vancouver police have made an arrest in a trio of allegedly unprovoked attacks on the city’s west side last week.
“We’ve got a person of interest that we’re working on right now, Deputy Vancouver Police Chief Howard Chow told CKNW’s The Mike Smyth Show on Monday.
“It’s something we are still working through with our investigators, but I suspect you’ll probably get some information on that in the next few days or so.”
The three assaults all took place within the space of a few hours Thursday evening.
According to police, it began with a 70-year-old man being tackled from behind and punched and kicked under the Cambie Bridge near the seawall. Not long afterward, a 33-year-old woman walking her dog near West 11th Avenue and Spruce Street was also attacked from behind and punched in the face.
About an hour and a half later, police say a 23-year-old woman was stabbed near West Broadway and Alder Street.
Chow did not provide any details on the person of interest.
However, he did say police were investigating another recent stranger attack in which a man’s shoulder was dislocated when someone threw a rock at him.
Vancouver police said last year the city was seeing about four random assaults per day. Chow said in about two-thirds of those cases police have either identified a suspect, charged someone or were in the process of charging someone.
But he said investigators need more help from the public to clear the other third of cases.
“We just need more witnesses on incidents where they see some of these unprovoked assaults take place,” he said.
“Call 911 to let us know so we can follow it up and we can get whatever we can do to arrest these individuals.”
Chow said the city is facing the interrelated challenges of mental illness, addiction and homelessness, and needs better coordination between mental health services and law enforcement.