VANCOUVER Police are asking for the public’s help to identify two men who allegedly obstructed and assaulted police officers during an altercation last Friday night at English Bay.
“VPD officers were responding to reports of a large fight and an assault on the beach last Friday evening when a large crowd turned on the officers,” said Constable Tania Visintin on Friday. “We believe these men incited the crowd and placed the officers at risk.”
The incident occurred around 7 p.m. on June 18 after VPD’s beach patrol officers were called to investigate a large fight and a possible assault involving 10 people. The officers were trying to diffuse the situation and disperse the crowd when one of the people involved in the incident began causing a disturbance and refusing to leave.
When the officers handcuffed that man, dozens of beachgoers surrounded them and made a difficult situation even more volatile.
“We’ve reviewed video clips posted online and have identified two agitators who incited the crowd, assaulted the police officers, and obstructed them as they were doing their jobs,” said Visintin. “We need help to identify these people and are asking anyone who knows them to call us.”
The first suspect is a white man who appears to be in his early 20s. Video posted online shows this man refusing commands to step back, rushing at the officers, and physically assaulting them while they were struggling to control the suspect.
The second person VPD hopes to identify is a dark-skinned man in his 20s. Video posted to social media shows this man shoving a police officer as she attempted to escort the suspect through the crowd.
Three VPD officers were injured during the incident, and one was taken to hospital.
Anyone who can identify the two suspects is asked to call investigators at 604-717-2541, or make an anonymous report to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.