VANCOUVER Police made multiple arrests following a volatile weekend in the Downtown Eastside, which saw officers seize loaded guns, bear spray, and other dangerous weapons.
Officers responded to several in-progress crimes throughout the long weekend, conducted proactive enforcement, and made a number of arrests to curb increased violence in the neighbourhood, the VPD said on Tuesday.
Incidents of note:
- Officers were patrolling West Hastings Street around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday when they spotted three men in balaclavas jay-walking near Abbott Street. The officers stopped the men to write a ticket for the bylaw offence, then discovered one was in possession of a loaded handgun. The two others were carrying knives and bear spray. Kaugen Bull, 22, has been charged with possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm, and possession of a firearm with an altered serial number.
- Officers patrolling near Columbia and East Hastings streets saw a man commit a bylaw offence just before 10 a.m. on Saturday. The man tried to run away from the officers, but he was arrested less than a block away after a brief foot chase. The officers recovered a loaded Glock handgun and illicit drugs, which police believe the man possessed for the purpose of trafficking. Garret Thomas, 25, has been charged with possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm.
- After a woman in her 30s was bear sprayed outside the Carnegie Centre at Main and East Hastings streets on Sunday morning, VPD officers tracked the suspect to a tent near the Patricia Hotel, where they arrested two men and recovered a sawed-off shotgun. A man in his 20s from Winnipeg and a 40-year-old man from Alberta are due back in court in April. The bear-spray victim was not seriously hurt.
- Officers patrolling East Hastings Street earlier on Tuesday stopped a man who was riding his bike recklessly through traffic and on the sidewalk. The cyclist had bail conditions not to be in the area, and when officers arrested him, they discovered a cache of weapons, including a gun, a machete, bear spray, a baton, and ammunition.
The uptick in violence and weapons comes as VPD continues to investigate a broad-daylight shooting near Main and Hastings streets that left a 31-year-old man with serious injuries on Sunday afternoon. Investigators from VPD’s Major Crime Section and Organized Crime Section are reviewing the cases to determine if they are linked or isolated.
Anyone with information is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-8477.