Heavy police presence blankets St. John's street as officers search for assault suspect

·1 min read

A busy west-end St. John's street was blocked off for three hours Monday as police searched for a suspect in a case involving assault with a weapon.

About a dozen uniformed officers in six marked and one unmarked squad cars descended upon a very familiar section of Empire Avenue, in the vicinity a house that is well known to police.

Officers with rifles and a police dog could be seen near 374 Empire Ave. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary advised residents in the immediate area to stay indoors.

According to a tweet from the police force, a house in the area was "contained." Traffic was closed off on Empire Avenue between Ropewalk Lane and Cordage Place, a small block of about 10 houses.

Access to the street was restricted from just after 10 a.m. until around 1 p.m.

RNC Const. James Cadigan confirmed the house in question is 374 Empire Ave., a house visited regularly by officers. It was the site of a stabbing in July 2019, an overdose death in 2017 and a police raid in 2016.

Cadigan said they were looking for a suspect in an assault that occurred in central St. John's on Sunday evening.

He said a 42-year-old man had previously been arrested and held to appear in court, charged with assault causing bodily harm, and assault with a weapon.

Ted Dillon/CBC
Ted Dillon/CBC

The search for a second suspect brought police to 374 Empire Ave. on Monday morning.

Cadigan said the RNC "contained" the home while officers spoke with people inside. About eight officers eventually entered the residence, but the suspect was not there.

As of Monday afternoon, the search for the second suspect was ongoing.

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