A man was shot at with a beanbag gun and arrested after he allegedly swung a hatchet in a busy area of downtown Victoria, according to police.
Victoria police say they received several calls around 7 p.m. Tuesday about the man swinging a hatchet around people in the 1200-block of Government Street.
He was reportedly accompanied by two other males at the time.
“There were numerous witnesses (who said) he was swinging the (hatchet) around, he was striking objects with it,” VicPD Const. Terri Healy told CHEK News.
“Fortunately, our officers were able to arrive on scene quickly, and no one was injured or struck with the hatchet.”
But when officers approached the suspect, he “ignored commands from officers and pulled the hatchet out of his jacket,” wrote police in a release Wednesday.
“As a result, a less-lethal beanbag round was deployed to his thigh,” they said. “The suspect was then taken into custody.”
Police say the man did not sustain any injuries but was taken to hospital to be medically cleared, which is policy any time a “less-lethal tool” is deployed.
The man was later released under the condition to appear at a future court date, add police.
They say no other details about this investigation can be shared at this time, as the matter is now before the legal system.
In early 2021, an RCMP report suggested police use of less-lethal weapons was on the rise across Canada.
Then in April 2022, The National Police Federation asked the federal government to revisit their proposal to reduce the number of less-lethal use-of-force intervention options in policing.
According to the federation, less-lethal tools, like beanbag guns, “can be used safely to disarm, distract, or subdue a violent person to give an officer more time to de-escalate a situation or get themselves more space to assess.”