Police arrest suspect, say there may be more victims of random machete attacks in Vancouver

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Vancouver police are calling for more victims and witnesses to come forward following a series of random machete attacks around the Granville Street entertainment district between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

Cruz Joseph, 33, has been arrested in connection with at least two of three incidents, police said in a statement Wednesday.

The most recent attack happened at about 7 p.m. on New Year's Eve when a 52-year-old man walking near Granville and Nelson streets was assaulted by someone carrying a machete.

Police said the victim stumbled to a nearby restaurant while several witnesses flagged down officers. The victim was taken to hospital with head injuries.

Just an hour earlier the same night, in the same area, a 26-year-old man suffered facial injuries when he was assaulted by a man carrying a machete.

A third attack took place on Christmas Eve, when a 29-year-old man was assaulted by a machete-wielding suspect outside the Canadian Tire at Cambie Street and 7th Avenue around 7 p.m. Police said the victim's injuries were not serious.

"These attacks appear to have been completely unprovoked," said Sgt. Steve Addison. "We believe there is at least one more victim, and possibly more, who have not yet come forward."

Police have charged Joseph with two counts of assault with a weapon, two counts of assault causing bodily harm, robbery, and possession of a dangerous weapon in connection with the Dec. 31 incidents on Granville Street.

The other incident remains under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call VPD's Major Crime Section at 604-717-2541 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.