File photo

Man who was carrying knife tackled at Nanaimo’s night market

RCMP make arrest after market-goer chases suspect downtown

A man wielding a knife at the Thursday night street market was arrested by Nanaimo RCMP after he was tackled by a market-goer.

Gregory Long and his wife had just arrived at the downtown night market Thursday when they came upon a man holding a knife to his chin and uttering obscenities.

“We were just walking in … and there was this real [messed] up guy and he had a knife to his throat and he’s freaking out these guys at a booth that are trying to sell [stuff],” Long said.

Long called 911 and stayed on the phone with the operator while he and his wife followed the man who was moving off through the crowd. Long, knowing the man was armed, was trying to keep him in sight. The man had put the knife in his pocket, but then started to approach Long.

“He did a roundhouse kick and knocked a planter – they have those four-foot planters on the sidewalks – and he knocked that out,” Long said.

When the man headed toward another vendor booth Long positioned himself in front of the man and told him the police were on their way.

“I said, ‘Just stand there. You’re not going anywhere…’” said Long, who used to be a boxer. “I said, ‘if you put your hands in your pockets I’m going to knock you out’ … I was just waiting for the cops. I wasn’t doing anything stupid. If he went for his pocket I was going to smoke him.”

Once a security guard intervened, the suspect threw his knife in a vendor’s basket and started running down the street. Long gave chase and eventually tackled the suspect. Police arrived and put both men in handcuffs until witnesses explained what had happened and Long was released. He was treated by paramedics at the scene for a broken thumb sustained when he fell during the chase.

Nanaimo RCMP Staff Sgt. John Blaase confirmed that one man was arrested, held in custody overnight and was expected to make a court appearance today, June 28.

“I think there was a little bit of self-medication involved…” Blaase said. “I guess it got a little bit of excitement down there, but the arrest itself was a non-event … When there’s the possibility of mental health issues and self-medication concerns, we have to take those into consideration, obviously, for public safety.”

Kim Smythe, CEO of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce CEO, which organizes the event, said the night market is safe, with many security measures both visible and “behind the scenes.”

“Thousands of people come down, unfortunately last night a few people witnessed something that went wrong,” he said.

Smythe said the police response was “fabulous,” with numerous officers immediately on scene. He said the chamber will meet with RCMP and city staff on Tuesday “to go over the incident and to talk about how we can further improve the situation.”

READ ALSO: Nanaimo RCMP arrest knife-wielding man near Beban Park

READ ALSO: Nanaimo RCMP investigate report of man in Santa hat wielding sword



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Christmas program creating tradition for PQB single mother and daughter

‘It just makes all the difference for your child to smile and laugh on Christmas morning’

Public hearing set for affordable housing development in Parksville

Council passes two bylaws, eyes 130 Shelly Rd. as affordable housing units for families

PQB crime report: Thieves pilfer cash, root beer and hand sanitizer

Oceanside RCMP receive 249 complaints in one-week period

Solutions in sight for Parksville Qualicum Beach doctor shortage

With feasibility study funded, group shares vision of ‘campus of healthcare’

A very cheesy Christmas at Little Qualicum Cheeseworks

Annual family Christmas event, this year with raclette hot off the melting wheel

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

Province sues over sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after marine lift failed

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Firefighters called to burning motorhome on Nanaimo’s waterfront

Nanaimo Fire Rescue extinguishes blaze Monday afternoon on Esplanade and Irwin Street

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Most Read