Man with meat cleaver arrested after allegedly issuing threats at Downtown Eastside Women's Centre

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      Vancouver police say they have a man in custody after a frightening incident.

      The 31-year-old suspect was allegedly holding a meat cleaver when he followed a woman into the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre around 1 p.m. on January 16.

      Police say that once he was inside, he threatened to kill people.

      Someone called 9-1-1 and the man was arrested after he had dropped the weapon and walked away.

      “Many violent crimes go unreported in the Downtown Eastside, and this arrest was made possible because several people acted quickly and did the right thing,” Sgt. Steve Addison said in a news release. “Their actions allowed VPD officers to respond immediately and arrest a violent suspect before anyone was physically hurt.”

      The suspect's name has not been released.

      This is the same Vancouver women's centre that Meghan Markle visited in January 2020. It's been providing a safe place for women and children since 1978.

      The Downtown Eastside Women's Centre supports more than 700 women, children, and seniors every day, offering hot meals, free clothing, a secure mailing address, phone and computer access, and a secure toilet and showers.