Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Machete-wielding man Tasered in Gastown

Witnesses said a man ran through Gastown streets brandishing a machete until he was Tasered by police.
machete seized in thomson july 5 2021
A machete.

Tourists in Gastown got more than they bargained for as a man ran through the streets brandishing a machete on Thursday (July 7).

“It was pretty insane,” said Victoria Jetko, a barber at Abbot Street’s Barber and Co. “He was in the middle of the street. We saw a huge blade. It was a machete. He was swinging it.

“It was nuts.”

The events unfolded around noon and ended outside the site of the Winter Hotel, which burned down in April.

It was right in front of the shop where Vancouverite Derek Manky was getting a lunchtime haircut when he saw multiple police officers chasing the man.

“This guy was running with a machete,” Manky said. “There was obviously a heavy police presence. They blocked the road off.”

Jetko said she saw multiple officers and paramedics.

Manky said he heard what sounded like a shot but Jetko said it turned out to be the firing of a Taser to take the man down.

Jetko said the man appeared to have some respiratory issues after he was Tasered and was attended to by paramedics.

“He went right down,” she said. “Never a dull moment down here in Gastown.”

Vancouver Police Department spokesperson Const. Tania Visintin said police were in the area to investigate a stabbing with non-life-threatening ­injuries.

"That investigation is ongoing," Visintin said.

Not the first machete incident in Metro Vancouver this year

The use of machetes in crime has been on the rise in Vancouver in recent months.

In the first incident, a man was accused of attacking two strangers with a machete on Vancouver’s Granville Street on New Year’s Eve, 2021. He is expected to plead guilty.

Then, on March 10, a pair of Port Moody teenagers were charged with aggravated assault after an alleged machete incident at Burquitlam SkyTrain station.

On June 1, a man was arrested and charged after a machete attack at a Vancouver gas station. He was found mentally fit to stand trial, Vancouver provincial court heard on June 28.

And on June 19, a machete attack occurred outside a Downtown Eastside hotel. Police have asked for public help in identifying the suspect in that incident, who is described as a 40- to 50-year-old man.