Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart says he was challenged to a fight by a man who had verbally attacked both him and his wife while they were shopping in a Yaletown store on Saturday.
"A white male in his late 40s or early 50s who was shopping in the store approached us and began to verbally harass me," said Stewart in a statement.
"He then moved to target [Stewart's wife] Jeanette with his verbal abuse and to disparage people living without homes. His attitude became increasingly aggressive and he initiated physical contact with me."
Stewart said he repeatedly asked the man to leave them alone and respect their personal space, to no avail.
"When he continued and challenged me to step outside, I called the police and described the incident," he said.
Vancouver police spokesperson Sgt. Steve Addison said officers responded to a 911 call from a Yaletown private liquor store in relation to a verbal altercation at 4:30 p.m. PT Saturday.
"Officers conducted an investigation by speaking to all the parties involved in this incident and a number of witnesses ... and the mater is still under investigation," he said.
In his statement, Stewart noted he is not the only politician to have been the target of aggressive behaviour in recent days.
"Where I fully respect people's right to express different viewpoints, resorting to harassment or violence is unacceptable."