Police on the North Shore have arrested a 30-year-old Vancouver man in connection with both an attack on a homeless person in West Vancouver and a vandalism spree in North Vancouver.
The arrest came just days after police sought public help in identifying a suspect captured on a surveillance camera.
The unprovoked assault on the homeless person happened early Tuesday morning, June 14, when a suspect approached the 55-year-old victim and began yelling at him, police say. The suspect also threw several large rocks, resulting in lacerations to the victim’s head and hand.
Investigators said the victim did not know the suspect.
Surveillance footage captured nearby showed the suspect was a light-skinned man with dark, curly hair. At the time of the attack, he was wearing a black hoodie, black pants and black shoes as well as a blue hat.
Not long before the assault, someone also perpetrated a spate of vandalism on businesses and vehicles along Marine Drive in North Vancouver. Residents reported dozens of smashed windows and other damage to property.
Police are still tallying the damage, but North Vancouver RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Peter DeVries said it is substantial.
DeVries said multiple buildings at three different locations in North Vancouver were targeted over a three-day period, June 14-16.
Windows of businesses and vehicles and security cameras were smashed, along with fob scanners used to enter office and apartment buildings. In some cases, hoses were turned on and put inside mail slots, resulting in water damage, he said.
DeVries said the damage happened near Capilano Road and Marine Drive, Capilano Road and Welch Street, and in the Lower Lonsdale neighbourhood.
Video and images shared by business owners in the area showed a man whose appearance is identical to that of the assault suspect in the image released by West Vancouver police on Wednesday.
Jessie James Constant Olson, 30, faces three charges of mischief for damage to buildings that happened in North Vancouver between June 14 and 15 at 2070 Curling Rd., 2030 Marine Drive and 340 Brooksbank Ave., as well as one charge of obstructing a peace office in North Vancouver June 16. He also faces charges of assault with a weapon, threats and possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose for events that happened June 10 in North Vancouver. Olson is also charged with being unlawfully in a dwelling house at 7072 Inlet Drive in Burnaby on April 11, 2022 and with three counts of breaching a probation order. He was due to make an appearance in North Vancouver provincial court on Tuesday, June 21. Olson has not been charged in the West Vancouver assault.
Anyone with information regarding the assault is asked to call WVPD at 604-925-7300. Tips about the vandalism spree can be sent to North Vancouver RCMP at 604-985-1311. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous, can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8744 or make a report through the Crime Stoppers website.
– with files from Jane Seyd