A 24-year-old "good samaritan" from North Vancouver was air lifted to Vancouver General Hospital with stab wounds after attempting to break up a street fight in the early hours of Saturday morning. He was the second of two people stabbed that morning.
According to the RCMP, they received numerous calls at roughly 2:25 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14 regarding a stabbing in progress at the corner of Main Street and Northlands Boulevard. They arrived at the scene to find two wounded individuals roughly 15 metres apart.
The suspect, an underage Abbotsford resident who cannot be identified, was quickly caught by the police at the north end of the Marketplace parking lot. He has since been charged with two counts of Assault with a Weapon.
It was almost a homicide charge, as the knife came close to puncturing the heart of one of the victims.
According to the police, a group of four men got into an altercation with two youths, including the suspect. The North Vancouver man saw the fight from across the street and attempted to break it up.
The first victim, a 20-year-old from Burnaby, who was a member of the group of four, was stabbed under his arm with the knife boring into his rib cage. The 24-year-old from North Vancouver was stabbed in the left side of his chest, puncturing a lung. It's believed the youth used two different folding knives in the attack.
The RCMP are still investigating and talking to witnesses. It's not known if the youth had any prior arrests or what precipitated the fight. The suspect will make his first court appearance in North Vancouver on Sept. 15.
It was a busy weekend for the RCMP, which attended between 12 and 20 altercations, most of them on Friday evening/Saturday morning. They received 14 reports of assaults. In addition, there were seven weapons-related charges, including the stabbings.
Two other incidents were reported within half an hour of the stabbing call. In the first, the RCMP received a report of a young man who was attacked in the Benchlands area, and robbed of $40. A number of young people were leaving the scene when the police arrived. No arrests were made.
Shortly after that, at roughly 2:58 a.m., the RCMP attended what sounded like an altercation in Day Lot 3. In this case they found approximately 30 youth leaving the scene. An injured male was later identified as an 18-year-old from Langley.
According to witnesses the man was attacked and stomped by another group of males, leaving him unconscious with blood coming out of his left ear. He may have had his head smacked into the pavement or a vehicle. He woke up a minute later and was taken to the Whistler Health Care Centre for examination. He was diagnosed with a basal skull fracture and was quickly sent on to Vancouver General Hospital.
The RCMP have contacted the victim's mother and he is expected to make a full recovery.
No witnesses remained on the seen to provide statements and no arrests were made. RCMP are still investigating and are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact the detachment at 604-932-3044.
Busy weekend for RCMP
According to Sergeant Shawn LeMay of the Whistler RCMP, the second weekend of Crankworx was extremely busy.
A snapshot of the weekend includes hundreds of calls for service, over 100 tickets for drinking violations, many of them for underage drinking; 35 noise complaints from private residences, condos and hotels; numerous theft complaints (including bike thefts); motor vehicle incidents; three impaired driving charges; three 24-hour driving prohibitions (including one for drugs); drug possession (mainly marijuana) and numerous arrests for public intoxication. The RCMP cells were nearly full on Friday and at a capacity of 20 on Saturday.
There were even a few animal calls, including a bear that broke into a tent at Riverside at 8 p.m. Saturday while going after food. The RCMP chased the bear out of the area towards the industrial park, but it's not known if someone was in or near the tent when the hungry bear arrived.
"Our members have been comparing it to the May long weekend," said Sgt. LeMay.
"We felt we were well-staffed for Crankworx but the crowd was huge and the level of intoxication was up there. People were here to party, many of them minors."
The RCMP called in extra resources for the weekend, as well as Sea to Sky Traffic Services to watch the roads. They conducted three roadblocks, Thursday to Saturday and issued 41 violation tickets - mainly for vehicle maintenance infractions like broken lights, no licence plates, missing bumpers, etc.
Caution urged after bike thefts
One of the world's biggest bike festivals likely brought a few bike thieves to town as well. The RCMP say that the number of stolen bikes reported this year jumped significantly. Last week the RCMP reported 69 bike thefts, but now Sergeant Shawn Lemay says the number is likely 75 or more - including some bikes valued at over $5,000 that were stolen from the base of the mountain from athletes that were participating in Crankworx.
The RCMP are encouraging people to lock up their bikes inside their homes, believing that some thieves may be using bolt cutters to cut locks. One man has been arrested for attempting to steal a bike using this method, and another man was stopped cutting a lock after losing his key.
"If you see something like that happening then call us," said Sgt. LeMay. "We would rather get the call and be wrong than find out later that a bike was stolen. It's always better to err on the side of caution."