Sunday night proved terrifying for residents of East Vancouver, several of whom saw a man wield a chainsaw in and around the controversial Strathcona Park encampment.
Vancouver Police Department Cst. Tania Visintin said just before 6 p.m. police received calls about a man “chasing and threatening people with a chainsaw.”
“The suspect moved from the neighbourhood and entered Strathcona Park,” explained Visintin. “Fortunately, no one was injured.”
Vice-president of the Strathcona Residents Association, Katie Lewis, was there in the aftermath of the alleged crime.
She explained that the persons the suspect initially targeted with the motorized saw escaped its reach by jumping in a stranger's vehicle.
"Nobody ever deserves to have a live chainsaw pulled on them. This is unacceptable," Lewis posted on Twitter.
Why is this acceptable in strathcona? It would not be acceptable anywhere else.— Katie Lewis (@kelewis) September 28, 2020
VPD officers eventually located the suspect inside the encampment, but “his clothes were different” and he was found without the weapon, said Visintin.
The officer confirmed that due to a lack of evidence the suspect has since been released from jail.
Sunday's incident comes after a semi-automatic assault-style rifle was found by police stashed in the area earlier this month.
Vancouver Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Chow said calls reporting weapons and break-and-enters in Strathcona have risen by more than 50 per cent this year.
Visintin told Vancouver Is Awesome the investigation is ongoing.