An aspiring Surrey lawyer, who came to Vancouver this weekend to celebrate after learning he had been called to the Bar Association, was arrested after he became intoxicated and starting a fight with his two friends.

According to VPD Sgt. Steve Addison, the 28-year-old had to be held in a headlock on the hood of a parked car until officers arrived.

“Officers separated the three men, sent two of them home, and arrested the aspiring lawyer for breach of peace,” said Addison. “He spent several hours in jail until he sobered up and was no longer a threat to the public.”

The incident was one of dozens police dealt with over the weekend, Addison said.

“Our officers were stretched thin throughout the weekend as they responded to multiple 911 emergencies and COVID-19 rule-breakers throughout the city,” he furthered.

He noted the downtown core and West End “proved particularly challenging, as the summer weather drew thousands of Vancouver residents to public parks and beaches, while attracting large crowds from other parts of Metro Vancouver.”

And while Addison said the VPD had anticipated the busy weekend, and deployed extra officers to deal with crowds in Gastown, Yaletown, Granville Street, and English Bay, officers still faced “a number of challenges” in responding to the extra calls, which included the city’s fifth homicide of the year.

Addison said other incidents of note included the following:

  • Eight separate protest groups held rallies to express their views, including the Extinction Rebellion Walk to the Salish Sea, which occurred on Friday.
  •  Hundreds of people gathered on the beach at English Bay after sunset on Saturday and staged an impromptu dance party.
  • A woman called 911 Saturday night to report her boyfriend had “shot her multiple times” with a BB gun and trashed her West End apartment before taking off. Police said the suspect, who was also armed with a crossbow, fled before police arrived. Dozens of officers searched the city for the suspect, who remains at large.
  • A woman staying at a West End hotel called 911 after an unknown man entered her room and “began to berate her” on Saturday night. The woman locked herself in her bathroom and stayed on the phone with 911 until help arrived. Police responded and found an intoxicated man sitting on a chair in the hotel suite. The man, 54, was taken to jail for breaching the peace.
  • Police initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle associated to a gang member near the scene of Saturday’s homicide. The driver failed to stop and instead sped away, crashing the vehicle into a number of poles in Coal Harbour. Three people fled the scene and ran toward the seawall. Officers searched for the suspects, who remain outstanding.
  • A man with life-threatening stab wounds walked into the courtyard of a building near West Hastings and Broughton Street around 8:40 pm on Saturday and collapsed. VPD officers responded and provided care until paramedics arrived and transported the man to hospital, where he remains with serious injuries.
  • Two people were taken to hospital after five vehicles collided on Oak Street, near Park Drive, on Saturday afternoon.
  • A man riding his electric scooter on the Stanley Park seawall shortly before midnight on Sunday collided with a coyote, fell from his bike, and injured his collarbone. While he was lying on the ground, “two coyotes began tugging at the man’s jacket and clothes.” The man punched one of the animals, then flagged over a passerby to call 911. VPD officers responded and worked with Park Rangers and BC Ambulance Service to help the injured cyclist.

“Public safety is our number one priority,” said Addison. “While we appreciate everyone wants to get outside and enjoy the warm spring weather, we need people to exercise good judgement during the pandemic to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to allow first responders to quickly respond to emergencies.”

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