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Random New Year's Eve machete attacks on Granville St: Vancouver police seek witnesses

"These attacks appear to have been completely unprovoked,” says the VPD
Vancouver Police are seeking any witnesses or victims of unprovoked machete attacks in late December in the city. A 33-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the alleged random armed assaults. File photo

A 33-year-old man is now facing charges for his alleged role in at least two assaults in downtown Vancouver that took place on New Year's Eve.

Vancouver Police say Cruz Joseph was carrying a machete when he allegedly attacked two strangers on Granville Street on the evening of Dec. 31, 2020.

"These attacks appear to have been completely unprovoked,” says Sergeant Steve Addison, VPD in a media release. “We believe there is at least one more victim, and possibly more, who have not yet come forward.” 

The two known victims are a 52-year-old man who was struck in the head and a 26-year-old man who was hit in the face. Both incidents took place in the vicinity of Granville and Nelson streets, where police ultimately apprehended Joseph at around 7 p.m. that night. 

Further, police say they are investigating a possible link between the New Year's Eve incidents on Granville to a reported attack that took place Christmas Eve, when a 29-year-old man was assaulted outside the Canadian Tire store on Cambie Street north of Broadway. That victim, a homeless man, "escaped serious injury," notes the VPD. 

Now, police are urging any potential witnesses, or additional victims, to come forward.

“These incidents all occurred in busy places and we believe there are many people who either saw what happened or have information that can help investigators,” adds the VPD's Sgt. Addison.

“We’d like those people to give us a call and tell us what they know.”

Joseph has been charged with two counts of assault with a weapon, two counts of assault bodily harm, robbery, and possession of a dangerous weapon in connection with the December 31 incidents on Granville Street. The other incidents remain under investigation.

VPD asks anyone with information to call VPD’s Major Crime Section at 604-717-2541 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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