Vancouver police arrested a man after he allegedly barricaded himself in a downtown apartment suite and set a fire that caused $500,000 worth of damage and displaced multiple residents.
Vancouver police say a resident of a building near Drake and Burrard streets called 911 at around 11 p.m. Wednesday, saying the suspect was swinging a chain at him and then threatened him with a knife. The victim then locked himself on the balcony of his suite.
The 26-year-old suspect set a mattress on fire after blocking the door to the suite with furniture, police say.
“Officers were quick to evacuate the building, carrying the elderly and disabled down the stairs,” Const. Tania Visintin said in a release.
Resident Rudi Wouda said he was woken up by a loud noise.
“I was in bed already and I woke up and I thought it sounded like a gunshot,” he said.
When he went to see what was going on, he said he saw a crowd of people gathered on the street and the suspect on a balcony.
“He was standing on the balcony with the knife, waving a knife. And then I heard the police say, ‘Get rid of the knife’ but he didn’t listen,” Wouda said.
Officers used bean-bag shotgun rounds on the suspect, who had a chain wrapped around his hands and acted aggressively as he was being taken into custody, according to police.
First responders helped the victim off the balcony and multiple building residents were moved to a nearby hotel.
Police say they will be recommending multiple charges, including arson, forcible confinement, mischief, and assault.
— With files from Jennifer Palma
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