Suspect says he was unable to access detox or social services

A Victoria man expressed gratitude to local police for arresting him in the midst of a days-long struggle with drug use.

On Monday night a man was seen allegedly attempting to steal from a store in the 2600-block of Quadra Street. When police were called, the man had already begun fighting with a loss prevention officer who stopped him from leaving with unpaid items. The store manager and a passerby joined the struggle while another person called 911.

As a VicPD patrol officer made their way to the scene, the 911 caller told dispatch that the suspect claimed to have a weapon and was threatening to stab the people restraining him. Backup was dispatched to assist the officer, who arrived first on scene.

The suspect, who is known to police, then began to fight the officer, who arrested him after a brief struggle.

But the incident took an unusual turn after the man was taken into custody. The suspect thanked officers, telling them he was in the midst of a days-long period of drug use and had been unable to successfully detox or access social supports. He was transported to a cell to be held for a morning court appearance and connected to support services.

Police are recommending charges of theft, robbery, assault and resisting arrest.

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