Vancouver police arrest a 29-year-old man for assaulting a visually impaired senior in the city’s West End

Vancouver police arrested a 29-year-old suspect in a daytime attack on a visually impaired senior in the city’s West End neighborhood last month.

A police spokesman said the man had been arrested but not yet charged as part of an investigation into the March 31 assault.

“We cannot name the suspect as he has not yet been formally charged,” said Vancouver Police Department spokesman Sgt. Steve Addison in an email Saturday.

The 69-year-old victim was unprovoked punched in the stomach on a crosswalk at Thurlow and Alberni streets, police said earlier this month.

Addison said the investigation is continuing and the suspect has been released. A court date for his hearing has not yet been given.

The victim was walking with a cane and wearing a bright yellow, high-visibility jacket at the time of the attack, but was not injured, police said at the time.

The report of the attack comes after city officials said security concerns over the number of recent unprovoked assaults by strangers have poured into City Hall – along with calls for more housing and mental health support for vulnerable residents.

On Friday, Deputy Chief of the VPD Howard Chow wrote on Twitter that the suspect was a 29-year-old man “with a history of violent crimes and mental illness” but said the force had recently made “gains” while investigating a series of strangers. attacks.

“We keep hearing from people who feel less safe,” Chow said. tweeted Friday afternoon. “We take your concerns seriously and there is still work to be done.

“The common thread running through these cases is that citizens took action to help solve these crimes…Please call the police if you are a victim or have information about a crime.”

Police said there were more than four unprovoked attacks by strangers in the city per day, according to a review of reported assaults between September 1, 2020 and August 31, 2021.

“It can be very distressing for the community when incidents like this continue to occur,” said VPD Const. Tania Visintin in an April 8 statement.

However, there is no data available from previous years to confirm that there has been an increase.

Police had appealed on April 8 for any witnesses to the assault to come forward as part of their investigation.

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