NEWS

Vancouver police chase gun suspect around Hastings Park

07/28/2012 08:57 EDT | Updated 09/27/2012 05:12 EDT
A 28-year-old man has been charged with possession of a dangerous weapon after he was allegedly spotted waving a handgun near Hastings Park, home of the annual PNE fair, on Thursday.

Vancouver police said the accused, who has no fixed address, was charged with possession of a firearm contrary to an order; knowingly possessing a prohibited weapon without a license; unauthorized possession of a firearm; and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

Vancouver police Const. Lindsey Houghton said in a written statement that the arrest and charges came after a brief bicycle and foot chase through the Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood, after a citizen phoned police to report seeing a gun.

"At about 5:30 p.m., a man was walking on the sidewalk on the south side of East Hastings Street at Renfrew when he saw another man ride towards him along the sidewalk on a BMX bike," Houghton said.

"The pedestrian happened to turn around and saw the cyclist allegedly pull what he believed was a handgun out of a black shoulder bag.

"The cyclist put the gun back into the bag, rode up to a car that had stopped at the intersection, made a gun gesture with his hand, and again pulled out what appeared to be a handgun, showing it to the driver of the car," he said.

The driver of the car and the cyclist then apparently exchanged words and the cyclist rode away, Houghton said.

Police were called and officers spotted and approached the suspect astride his bike in the 2700 block of East Hastings Street.

The suspect rode away into oncoming traffic, across East Hastings Street, and then went north on Kaslo toward Triumph Street and turned again, police said.

"As he rode towards the PNE grounds, he looked back at the police cars closing in on him and crashed into a tree," Houghton said.

The suspect then left his bike and the handbag containing the gun and ran away on foot. Police apprehended the suspect more than half a kilometre away, at the intersection of East Hastings and Lillooet Street.

The police department could not say when the accused is next scheduled to appear in court.

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