Man arrested after ‘extremely volatile’ situation at Nanaimo hotel

Man arrested after ‘extremely volatile’ situation at Nanaimo hotel
File photo

A downtown Nanaimo street has re-opened after heavily armed police took a man into custody Thursday morning.

Police went to the Castaway Motel at the intersection of Terminal Avenue and Bryden Street around 6:30 a.m. to check the well-being of a tenant.

Mounties say a family member of the tenant had called saying he had been acting erratically and that they were concerned for his safety.

When officers arrived, they spoke with the man and determined he was having a mental health crisis, according to RCMP.

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Police are seen outside the Castaway Motel in Nanaimo on Oct. 12, 2023.

Police then set up a perimeter around the motel, blocking traffic, and called in the RCMP emergency response team, a crisis negotiator and the Nanaimo RCMP mental health liaison officer due to there being a “potential for violence.”

Mounties say they spent several hours speaking with the man but were unable to convince him to leave his room.

Around 9:30 a.m., police breached his bottom floor suite with a battering ram and arrested him.

A Taser was also deployed and police could be seen entering the motel with gas masks on.

The man, 31, was brought to the Nanaimo hospital for a psychiatric evaluation under the Mental Health Act. No injuries were immediately reported after the arrest.

Police say no criminal charges are being recommended.

“This was an extremely volatile and potentially dangerous situation that was resolved successfully by utilizing RCMP resources and officers who are trained to deal with these types of situations,” said Nanaimo RCMP Reserve Const. Gary O’Brien.

The road reopened to traffic later Thursday morning.

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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