Suspect in Victoria incident evades police during early morning search in Colwood

The West Shore RCMP headquarters in Langford, B.C. (File photo)

A major police presence near Royal Roads University in Colwood Sunday morning was the result of a search for a suspect in an ongoing Victoria Police Department investigation, according to West Shore RCMP.

Mounties swarmed the area just after 5 a.m. Sunday to search for the suspect, whose vehicle was located near the university's campus, the RCMP detachment said in a news release.

Frontline officers were joined by dogs and handlers from the Integrated Police Dog Service as they searched the neighbourhood.

RCMP did not say what the suspect is alleged to have done, only that the man "had fled the scene of an ongoing VicPD investigation."

In a separate news release Sunday afternoon, Victoria police said the search stemmed from an incident that happened near the intersection of Dallas Road and Linden Avenue around 4 a.m.

A man there attempted to ram a woman and two of her friends with his vehicle, before getting out and attempting to assault one of them with a weapon, police said. He narrowly missed, then fled the scene in his vehicle. No one was injured in the incident.

The suspect was later spotted in Colwood, prompting the search by West Shore RCMP. The man's vehicle was found, but he was not, according to RCMP.

“We understand the concern of seeing so many police officers in a quiet community on a Sunday morning,” said Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, spokesperson for BC RCMP, in the release.

“We want to reassure the public that we believe the suspect is no longer in the area, but are continuing efforts to locate him through investigative means, in partnership with VicPD.”

For their part, VicPD said they believe the incident was an isolated one, as the suspect and one of the victims know each other. Police do not believe there is any ongoing risk to the public.

The suspect is known to police, and the search for him is ongoing, VicPD said. They're asking anyone with information to contact them at 250-995-7654. Tips can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.