COVID-19: 50-year-old man stabbed after his daughter asks male suspect to physically distance in Nanaimo

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      Yet another incident involving resistance to COVID-19 health measures erupted into physical violence on Vancouver Island this week.

      Nanaimo RCMP stated today (February 25) that around 6 p.m. on February 24, an altercation developed outside Dollarama (111–648 Terminal Avenue) in the parking lot of Port Place Mall in Nanaimo.

      According to investigators, a woman said that she had been standing outside her car with her family when a man walked by them.

      The woman’s 25-year-old daughter told the man that he was too close to him and that he should maintain a six-foot separation according to COVID-19 health guidelines.

      The male suspect objected to her comment and yelled obscenities at her.

      When the woman’s husband moved toward the suspect, he was hit by a metal coffee cup.

      A fight arose between the two men, which led to the husband being stabbed.

      The male suspect fled on foot as the woman called 911.

      Police recovered a knife at the scene.

      The 50-year-old male victim sustained minor non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment for his wounds.

      An hour later, police received information that the suspect was on Gabriola Island.

      Gabriola Island RCMP went to the suspect’s residence, arrested him without incident, and turned him over to Nanaimo RCMP.

      The suspect has been charged with an undertaking for assault with a weapon. He was released from custody.

      His court appearance is scheduled for May 25 in Nanaimo provincial court.

      This is the second incident in Nanaimo this week involving opposition to COVID-19 safety practices in B.C.

      Earlier this week, two female passengers on a ferry from Horseshoe Bay refused to wear masks, and began yelling, screaming, and were verbally abusive to B.C. Ferries staff on February 21.

      Upon arrival in Nanaimo, RCMP arrested them, held them in custody until they became sober, and issued them a total of $920 in fines.

      Meanwhile, Burnaby RCMP are investigating an altercation between Canadian Tire staff and a male customer who refused to wear a mask inside the store. The man allegedly assaulted employees as they attempted to escort him out.

      A video posted online captured the staff members taking the man to the ground, who resisted and yelled at them, as they tried to put handcuffs on him.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.