Man faces 5 charges after unprovoked attacks on strangers and home invasion, Vancouver police say

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Police in Vancouver say charges have been approved against 21-year-old Martin Lamb in relation to several violent assaults. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
Police in Vancouver say charges have been approved against 21-year-old Martin Lamb in relation to several violent assaults. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

Police say charges have been approved against a 21-year-old Vancouver man following a series of unprovoked attacks on one night and a violent home invasion less than two days later.

Martin Lamb has been charged with two counts of assault, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of break and enter.

Three of the charges, announced Thursday, are related to three separate attacks from the night of Aug. 18 in the city's Fairview neighbourhood, which includes Granville Island.

Police said the first attack happened just after 6:30 p.m. PT near the False Creek seawall under the Cambie Street Bridge.

A 70-year-old man was approached from behind, tackled to the ground, then punched and kicked several times by an unknown man.

David Ball/CBC
David Ball/CBC

About 45 minutes later, around 7:15 p.m. PT, a 33-year-old woman was walking her dog in a laneway near West 11th Avenue and Spruce Street when she was approached from behind and punched in the face.

Police say the third attack happened just before 8:45 p.m. when a 23-year-old woman was stabbed as she walked near West Broadway and Alder Street. She suffered a serious but non-life threatening injury.

Break and enter, too

In announcing the charges Thursday, police also said Lamb had been charged in connection with a home invasion early on Aug. 20.

Police said a 54-year-old woman suffered serious and life-threatening injuries after she was attacked inside her Riley Park home.

"This was a rather brutal and violent attack," said Sgt. Steve Addison. "There's going to be very lasting emotional scars if there are not lasting physical scars."

Addison said the attacker was arrested after fleeing the home and was later connected to the three previous assaults.

Lamb is scheduled for a bail hearing in provincial court on Thursday. Addison said at a news conference that he did not have "a significant police history."

He said Lamb lives in the same "general area" where the attacks took place and was arrested on West Broadway in a public place at 5 a.m. Saturday.

Stranger attacks

As part of the news conference about the arrest and charges, Addison spoke about trends police have seen in relation to seemingly random attacks in Vancouver without explicitly referencing Lamb.

He said most stranger attacks involve mental health issues and repeat offenders.

Addison also said the type of violence in the city is deeply troubling.

"It's a huge public safety issue," he said. "It strikes fear into the community."