Series of assaults and weapon-related incidents occur across Vancouver over weekend

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      While a number of collisions took place across the Lower Mainland this weekend, resulting in injuries and fatalities, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) was kept busy with a rash of unprovoked, seemingly random assaults and incidents involving weapons.

      Around 4:30 a.m. on September 24, a man entered a Tim Hortons located near Davie and Howe streets. He ordered a donut but as his order was being prepared, he pulled out a can of bear spray and sprayed the employee. Officers arrested the suspect for assault with a weapon and mischief over $5,000.

      Then at 6:15 p.m. on the same day, an 82-year-old Asian woman was walking to a bus stop when a suspect shoved her from behind near East King Edward Avenue and Fraser Street. Police arrested the 33-year-old suspect, whom the victim doesn’t know. The victim is suffering from a sore arm. Assault charges are being recommended, and the VPD Hate Crimes investigator is reviewing the case.

      Three incidents took place at Douglas Park at West 22nd Avenue and Laurel Street in the South Cambie neighbourhood.

      At 9:30 p.m. also on September 24, a male youth reportedly pointed what appeared to be a firearm at another youth on the east side of the park near West 20th Avenue and Heather Street. Officers arrested the 15-year-old suspect, who was found to possess a knife, a baton, and an imitation handgun.

      Then at the south side of the park near West 22nd Avenue, officers responded to reports about two men who allegedly wielded a handgun and demanded money from a 15-year-old victim. By the time officers arrived, however, the suspects had left the location. This case remains under investigation.

      After that, one block away from the park at 1:10 a.m. on September 25, an unknown male suspect approached a 16-year-old girl from behind and groped her. The suspect remains outstanding and this case is also under investigation.

      Over in an area near Gastown and the Downtown Eastside around 6 p.m. yesterday (September 26), police witnessed two men fighting on the road near East Hastings and Columbia streets. Officers arrested a 29-year-old aggressor who had a loaded handgun in his possession. Several firearms-related charges have been recommended.

      Over the weekend, the VPD also responded to other assaults, domestic assaults, and break-ins.

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