Halloween night was more trick than treat for one 19-year-old in West Vancouver.
An alleged assault, a 90-day driver’s licence suspension and the discovery by police of a fake pistol that was not part of anyone’s costume marked a series of Halloween night police calls all linked to the man.
West Vancouver Police Department spokesman Const. Kevin Goodmurphy said the action started on after two women and one man called police at about 10:15 p.m. on Oct. 31 to report they had been assaulted near the intersection of Marine Drive and Morgan Crescent in Sandy Cove. The trio told police they had been in the area when a vehicle stopped and five people got out and attacked them. At least two of the people appeared to know each other, said Goodmurphy, and the assault is still under investigation. The victims, aged 19-22, suffered facial injuries, according to police, and one was taken to hospital for further assessment.
A description of the vehicle – a 2021 Honda CX5 – was broadcast to other police officers who spotted it soon after near the intersection of 21st Street and Jefferson Ave, said Goodmurphy. Police clocked the Honda driving west on Highway 1 at 147 kilometres per hour in a 90 km/h zone. Police pulled the driver over at the Caulfeild exit.
Officers became suspicious that the driver – a new driver and resident of Lions Bay – was showing signs of impairment, said Goodmurphy.
The man was asked to blow into a breathalyzer and failed twice, said Goodmurphy – resulting in an immediate 90-day suspension of the man’s driver’s licence and a 30-day vehicle impoundment.
Officers also discovered the driver was carrying a replica Glock-style airsoft pistol and brass knuckles in his jacket pocket.
“It’s a very, very realistic looking pistol,” said Goodmurphy.
While it is not illegal to carry a fake gun, it does raise red flags, said Goodmurphy.
“I can tell you it's not a very smart decision,” he said. “There’s no real justifiable reason to be driving around at night with that in your pocket. It would be hard to convince any of us that you're going to go to your friend's house to shoot some targets for fun.”
Both items were seized.
Goodmurphy described the situation as very dangerous, saying the man’s actions put many people at risk, including himself.
“Should officers be presented with a person holding a replica-style pistol, they may not be able to tell the difference from a real one, and could lead to deadly consequences,” he said.
West Vancouver police were also called out around 11:30 p.m. Halloween night to a report of a large gathering of teens setting off fireworks from the roof of Ecole Pauline Johnson.
Officers attended and monitored a group of 40 to 50 14- to 16-year-olds for about 40 minutes as they slowly filtered out of the area.
“It was a challenge for our officers just to sort of disperse the crowd,” said Goodmurphy.
Officers reported there were no fireworks visible when police got to the scene and no signs of alcohol or intoxication.