Man arrested after allegedly barricading himself in apartment suite, setting it on fire

Apr 30 2020, 2:28 pm

A man who allegedly barricaded himself in an apartment suite, set it on fire, and threatened the resident of the suite with a weapon, was arrested by Vancouver Police officers on Wednesday night.

According to VPD Const. Tania Visintin, officers responded to a 911 call from a man inside a suite at an apartment building near Drake and Burrard streets at around 11 pm. The caller reported being threatened by the suspect, who was “swinging a chain at him.”

The suspect then reportedly threatened the victim with a knife, and fearing for his safety, the victim locked himself on the balcony.

The suspect then barricaded himself inside the residence and used furniture and other household items to block the door, before setting a mattress on fire inside the suite.

Visintin said members from VPD’s Emergency Response Section were able to safely assist the victim off the balcony to the ground during their response. Multiple residents of the building were moved to a nearby hotel as their suites were deemed unsafe due to smoke and water damage.

“This was a joint effort from our patrol officers, emergency response team and negotiators,” said Visintin.

The 26-year-old suspect, who had a chain wrapped around his hands, “was aggressive towards police” as he was being taken into custody, Visintin said. A beanbag shotgun was used to allow officers to gain control and “safely put the man in handcuffs before he injured himself or other police officers.”

The “extremely dynamic call would have not played out as it did without the assistance of the Vancouver Fire Rescue Services,” added Visintin. “They worked with officers to provide the material needed to rescue the victim safely and efficiently and for that we are very grateful.”

As a result of this incident, the VPD said they will be recommending multiple charges to Crown counsel that include, but are not limited to, arson, forcible confinement, mischief, and assault.

Anyone with information is asked to call VPD investigators at 604-717-2541 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

Damage to the suite is estimated at more than $500,000, and the investigation is ongoing.

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