Two residents of Nanaimo’s tent city were arrested this week after they allegedly wielded machetes and knives in a response to a laser pointer being shone at the encampment.
According to police, at around 10 p.m. on Aug. 3, several residents of Discontent City confronted two carloads of adults, ranging in ages 18 to 30, after the group allegedly shone a laser light into the encampment from the upper level of the Thrifty Foods parkade, located across from 1 Port Drive.
Police said two men from the tent city, armed with knives, machetes and a baseball bat, met up with the two vehicles in the parkade. When the occupants of the two cars attempted to leave, the two suspects allegedly made verbal threats and vandalized the vehicles with their weapons.
On Sept. 25, 42-year-old Shane Steinhauer and 55-year-old William Carrigan were arrested in connection with the incident. Police said when Carrigan was arrested, he was in possession of a small axe, which had been tucked into his pants at the base of his back.
Each man has been charged with assault with a weapon and possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose. Carrigan is also facing a breach charge.
Both men are in custody. Carrigan will appear in court on Friday and Steinhauer will once again be in court on Oct. 9.