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New West police arrest knife-wielding man in Sapperton

New Westminster police offering support to folks who witnessed a recent knife incident and arrest
Rounds of plastic bulbs, like the one shown here, are fired from an ARWEN device, which is considered a less lethal option of police response. The NWPD says a hit from one of the plastic bulbs mimics the force of a baton strike.

A knife-waving man sustained minor injuries after police deployed a device to take him into custody.

At about 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, the New Westminster Police Department responded to numerous 911 calls about a man waving knives around in the area of East Columbia and Braid Street.

“New Westminster Police Department officers provided verbal de-escalation techniques in the hopes the suspect could be safely taken into custody, however, the suspect did not comply,” said a NWPD press release. “The suspect proceeded to flee from police, running away with a knife in each hand.”

According to the NWPD, officers pursued the suspect and instructed him to drop the knives. The NWPD said the suspect complied with instructions to drop his knives after officers deployed the ARWEN, “a less lethal distance option.”

“This could have been an extremely dangerous situation. Thankfully, officers were able to use their training and experience to resolve this situation safely,” said NWPD spokesperson Sgt. Justine Thom in a news release. “The male sustained a minor injuries and was assessed at a local area hospital.”

The Record reached out to the New Westminster Police Department for more details on this incident.

“What is fired from the Arwen is a plastic bulb,” said a NWPD statement to the Record. “It mimics the force of a baton strike.”

According to the police department, the NWPD’s training unit believes “numerous lives” have been saved with this tool.

“More often than not suspects who are not complying with instructions from police will become compliant after simply seeing the Arwen,” said the statement.

According to the NWPD, the suspect was arrested and was connected to a health-care team. Police have not forwarded any charges Crown Counsel in connection to this incident.

Anyone who witnessed this incident and feels they would benefit from the support of the Victim Assistance Unit can call 604-529-2525 or email [email protected].