One suspect has been taken into police custody after a stand-off at the Cliffe Avenue Subway in Courtenay, Thursday morning.
A man who was using the bathroom there became agitated when a customer knocked on the door.
“A guy came in, asked to use the bathroom. Everything was fine, then I got some customers, and one of them tried to get into the bathroom and the guy just lost it,” said store manager Aurora Rousay. “He started yelling and screaming, smashing things in the bathroom, and uttering threats. He then came outside and was supposedly waving a knife around, but I didn’t see it.”
A customer in line at the Subway called RCMP, and multiple officers and cruisers attended the scene.
Once the incident spilled into the parking lot and police arrived, both the Subway and the BC Liquor Store next door were put on lockdown, which lasted “about 10 minutes,” according to liquor store staff.
“They casually surrounded him, then arrested him very calmly, actually,” said Rousay.
Comox Valley RCMP confirmed the man had a knife.
“When frontline officers arrived the man was located outside in the parking lot, upset and holding a knife,” said media relations Const. Monika Terragnio. “Police officers spoke with the man until he put the knife down and was arrested without incident. He remains in custody.”
She added that the suspect did not threaten anyone with the knife.
Samuel Ennis saw the incident and applauded the police for the manner in which everything was handled.
“I witnessed the whole show outside and heard how the police handled the confrontation. They handled it so well,” he said. “Good job to the officers and how they brought it to the end.”
Rousay said the suspect was in the bathroom for an extended period before the interruption.
“I want to say probably a half-hour to 45 minutes, which isn’t uncommon here,” she said. “We are one of the few public bathrooms around here, and sadly, there is a lot of drug use in this neighbourhood.”
Rousseau said there was no evidence of drug use left behind, when she inspected the bathroom afterward.