Nanaimo stabbing ‘victim’ now charged with unprovoked assault on homeless person: RCMP

Nanaimo stabbing 'victim' now charged with unprovoked assault on homeless person: RCMP
Crime tape surrounds the scene of a stabbing incident in downtown Nanaimo, Nov. 24, 2022.

It turns out the man injured in a Thursday morning Nanaimo stabbing wasn’t the victim at all, but the person who started the fight, according to Nanaimo RCMP.

Not only that, the actual victim of the unprovoked attack was a marginalized person of no fixed address, authorities say.

The altercation took place near a Dollarama location at Fifth Street and Bruce Avenue at around 4:15 a.m. on Nov. 24.

Police initially believed the man who came into conflict with three other people and was then stabbed in the ensuing fight.

The 32-year-old man then staggered into a nearby 7-11 asking for medical help and was treated by responding paramedics, then taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, police said.

That man was treated for what were described at the time as serious but non-life-threatening injuries and released from care.

Police told CHEK News Thursday they were looking for three people who were possibly responsible for the attack.

However, investigators then obtained surveillance video capturing the fight which showed the man stabbed had actually launched an unprovoked attack on another man, RCMP spokesman R/Const. Gary O’Brien said in a news release.

“Based on the evidence obtained to date, investigators believe the accused, who has mental health issues, initiated an unprovoked attack on a marginalized person of no fixed address,” said O’Brien.

The man initially believed to be the victim was then arrested at his home on a charge of assault with a weapon.

The man who was attacked has been identified and did not need any medical treatment, RCMP said.

Police say no charges have been recommended against the marginalized victim, but all available evidence will be forwarded to Crown to make a final decision.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call RCMP at 250-475-2345 and quote file 2022-41242.

Jeff LawrenceJeff Lawrence

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