West Shore RCMP respond to assault, sexual assault in first 2 days of November

Police are searching for this man who reportedly pulled a machete on staff at the Canadian Tire in Langford: (West Shore RCMP)

Mounties say the West Shore had violent start to the month of November after some serious incidents were reported throughout View Royal, Colwood and Langford.

Just before 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 1, West Shore RCMP responded to the Canadian Tire in Langford after a man brandished a machete at staff. He revealed the weapon after he was confronted by a loss prevention officer, allegedly for shoplifting a nail-pulling tool.

The man then escaped through the receiving door of the building and jumped a fence before police arrived. No staff were injured during the incident, police say.

West Shore RCMP obtained a photo of the man and are hoping the public can assist in identifying him.

A short time after that, around 8 p.m., there was a report of a sexual assault on a transit bus in Colwood.

A 33-year-old Saanich man was arrested at the scene and police are hoping to speak with anyone who witnessed the incidents, or who may have also been a victim.

"The swift actions by the victims to notify the bus driver, who in turn called police right away allowed for officers to attend quickly and arrest the suspect," said Const. Alex Bérubé, spokesperson for West Shore RCMP

One day later, in the early morning hours of Nov. 2, a protection services officer was injured while working at the Victoria General Hospital.

Police say the officer was helping staff with an aggressive patient when they were punched in the face. The officer then required medical attention, Mounties say.

"This incident highlights the risks and dangers that staff in hospital are faced with every day," said Bérubé. "The RCMP is committed to keeping everyone safe and will continue to support our health-care workers in their challenging and exhausting duties."

Is the rash of serious assaults in the past few days cause for concern in the Western Communities?

"It’s a bit early to talk about a trend and rise in criminality," said Bérubé. "However, with rapid growth of the population in the West Shore we will see, inevitably, a rise in criminality and that’s why we need to have the resources in place to be able to deal with that; and the cooperation with the public is always paramount."

If you were a witness to any of these crimes, or have any information, the West Shore RCMP encourage you to contact them at 250-474-2264.