A 43-year-old man has been charged with aggravated assault following an apparently random attack in Chinatown that left a meal-delivery worker with life-threatening injuries, Vancouver police say.
The charge was laid against Dennis Amanand Prasad on Monday following a police investigation into the stabbing. Prasad is currently in custody.
The victim, a 22-year-old newcomer to Canada, was locking his bike to a street pole around 6 p.m. PT near Gore Avenue and East Pender Street when he was approached from behind and stabbed, Vancouver Police Department Sgt. Steve Addison told CBC.
Addison says the man suffered severe injuries to his neck and chest but was still able to take out his phone and dial 911.
"He was working for Skip the Dishes," Addison said."We believe he was approached out of nowhere by somebody that he didn't know."
Addison said the attack seems to be "random and unprovoked," but thankfully, there were a number of witnesses who stepped in to help. Several bystanders called 911, performed first aid on the victim and shared information with officers that led to the suspect's arrest in Crab Park a short while later.
"Things like direction of travel, suspect description and what his behaviour was," said Addison. "All of that was very important to us."
Addison said the suspect was arrested within 30 minutes of the incident, that he doesn't have a criminal history in Vancouver and appears to be new to the city.
He said police have heard business owners and people who frequent the Chinatown neighbourhood are worried about these types of random attacks, and police will continue to work closely with the community to address "growing safety concerns."
In a statement, Vancouver police said the victim's injuries were life-threatening, but he's now expected to pull through.