Argument over physical distancing ends with father being stabbed in front of family

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RCMP say a father, 50, was stabbed outside this Dollarama store in Nanaimo, B.C., during an argument over physical distancing. (Google Street View - image credit)
RCMP say a father, 50, was stabbed outside this Dollarama store in Nanaimo, B.C., during an argument over physical distancing. (Google Street View - image credit)

An argument over physical distancing in a Nanaimo mall parking lot quickly escalated into a stabbing late Wednesday afternoon.

RCMP say a 50-year-old man, his wife and daughter were standing at their car outside the Dollarama in the Port Place shopping centre on Terminal Avenue, when the suspect walked in front of them.

The wife reported to police that her daughter, 25, told the suspect he was too close to them and should maintain a six-foot separation, according to a police statement Thursday.

"The suspect took exception to this comment and yelled some obscenities at her," the statement says.

RCMP say the suspect then struck the father with a metal cup, and when a struggle began, the father was stabbed.

He was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

The suspect managed to run away but was spotted about an hour later on Gabriola Island where he was arrested at his home, the statement says.

The suspect, whose name police are not releasing, is expected in Nanaimo Provincial Court on May 25, to face a charge of assault with a weapon.