An arrest warrant has been issued for a man wanted in connection with two violent chokings and robberies.
Police say suspect Andrew Krizmanits, 42, may be headed to, or currently in, Eastern Canada or possibly the Sunshine Coast.
Krizmanits, of no fixed address, is well known to police. He has been charged with two counts of robbery and two counts of attempting to choke to overcome resistance.
On the morning of Aug. 18, police allege Krizmanits approached a 45-year-old man riding a bus headed toward the Marine Drive Canada Line station. According to police, he befriended the man, followed him off the bus, asked him for a cigarette and when the victim refused, tackled him and placed him in a headlock until he lost consciousness.
CCTV at Vancouver’s Stadium SkyTrain Station recorded a suspect before he is alleged to have taken part in a violent robbery. Transit Police say the man is responsible for two thefts in which he put his victims in a headlock, choking them until they were unconscious. 0:17
Upon regaining consciousness, the suspect asked the victim to buy him a drink at the Marine Drive Canada Line Station store, but when the victim entered the store, police say Krizmanits stole his phone and fled on the train.
Police say the second robbery occurred late on Aug. 20 when Krizmanits started a conversation with a 26-year-old man at the Stadium SkyTrain Station.
He grabbed the man when he tried to leave, placed him in a headlock and choked him until he was unconscious before stealing his wallet and credit cards .
Metro Vancouver Transit Police say they are “very concerned by the level of violence Krizmanits is willing to use.”
He is described as a Caucasian or Indigenous man, between five feet eight inches and five feet 10 inches tall with a stocky build and short brown hair.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Transit Police at 604-515-8300 or text them using code 87-77-77 and refer to file 2019-15236.
Metro Vancouver Transit Police are searching for a suspect who allegedly committed two robberies in August, choking each victim until they became unconscious.
In both incidents, the suspect approached and began conversations with the victims before placing them in a headlock and robbing them, according to a Transit Police news release.
Early on the morning of Aug. 18, police say the suspect approached a 45-year-old man riding a bus headed toward the Marine Drive Canada Line station. According to police, he befriended the man, followed him off the bus, asked him for a cigarette and when the victim refused, tackled him and placed him in a headlock until he lost consciousness.
Upon regaining consciousness, the suspect asked the victim to buy him a drink at the Marine Drive Canada Line Station store, but when the victim entered the store, police say, the man stole his phone and fled on the train.
Police say the second robbery occurred late on Aug. 20 when the suspect started a conversation with a 26-year-old man at the Stadium SkyTrain Station.
The suspect grabbed the man when he tried to leave, placed him in a headlock and choked him until he was unconscious.
Watch: Robbery suspect caught on video before his alleged crimes
CCTV at Vancouver’s Stadium SkyTrain Station recorded a suspect before he is alleged to have taken part in a violent robbery. Transit Police say the man is responsible for two thefts in which he put his victims in a headlock, choking them until they were unconscious. 0:17
The victim’s wallet was stolen and his credit card used to make a $400 purchase at a convenience store.
The suspect is described as a Caucasian or Indigenous man in his late 30s, between five feet eight inches and five feet 10 inches with a stocky build and short brown hair.
Transit police say the level of violence used by the suspect is concerning and ask anyone with information about his identity to contact them at 604-516-7419 or by text message at 87-77-77.
An Abbotsford senior has died after being struck by a vehicle, and police are now seeking to identify the driver.
The fatal collision occurred Tuesday evening at 8:30 p.m. in the 32600 block of Marshall Road, police said in a news release.
A 77-year-old South Asian man, who has not been identified, was walking on the roadway when he was hit by what police describe as a newer model, SUV-type vehicle.
He was transported to hospital by air ambulance, but died of his injuries Wednesday morning.
The driver of the vehicle, meanwhile, fled the scene, and investigators are now working to identify the individual.
“The Abbotsford Police Department are asking for the driver of the vehicle to do the right thing and come forward to speak with investigators,” police said in the release.
Detectives are also looking to speak to witnesses who stopped to help and act as interpreters at the scene, and are appealing to the public for CCTV and dash-cam footage that could help with the investigation.
Anyone with information pertinent to the incident is asked to call the Abbotsford Police Department.
Weeks after a man in a wheelchair was attacked in East Vancouver, police have released surveillance images of two people investigators believe might have information on the crime.
The victim was assaulted on the morning of July 7, in the underground parking lot of an apartment building on Cecil Street. Authorities said the attack left the 44-year-old in serious condition in hospital.
On Wednesday, the Vancouver Police Department shared images of a man and woman that were captured on a CCTV camera in the area, and asked anyone with information on their identities to come forward.
“The VPD believes the two individuals in the photos, a man and a woman, may have information about this assault. We are hopeful that the public can assist us in identifying the pair,” Sgt. Jason Robillard said in a statement.
Authorities have not described either of the people in the images as suspects in the attack.
The man is believed to be white, with a slim build and blonde hair. He was wearing a denim jacket, a shirt with a large “O” on the front, black shorts, black flip-flops and a black baseball hat.
The woman is also believed to be white, with a medium build and shaggy orange or blonde hair. She was seen wearing black cropped top, a red jacket, green camouflage-print Capri pants and sandals.
Police urged anyone with information that could help investigators solve the disturbing attack to contact the department’s Major Crime Section at 604-717-2541.
Those old enough will remember the Whalley Strip’s infamous Dell Hotel — a violent, unruly dump the cops frequently attended, but only in pairs, at a minimum.
Once, Michael Kwok Shuen Fong hoped to turn it into a gold mine, but his incompetence, mental health and animosity toward police produced only a tragedy.
The final chapter of his sad Surrey saga may have been written by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Murray Blok in a sympathetic costs decision that ended 13 years of litigation over an altercation with RCMP officers.
Surprisingly, the justice gave Fong twice as much to cover his costs for mounting the legal fight as he did for the minor injuries he suffered.
Blok awarded Fong only $71,000 in damages for the “hard takedown” by the Mounties, which left him dazed and bleeding, and for his brief unlawful arrest.
He had been seeking $1.3 million for near-complete disability!
The trial lasted 18 days and Fong wanted another roughly $170,000 for his costs — $69,000 in tariff items and $100,000 in disbursements.
The B.C. justice ministry, which offered to settle for $25,000, asked Blok to reduce the bill because much of the money spent on experts turned out to be wasted.
None of the evidence from the five medical specialists was accepted, the government argued because Fong misled them, and an economist’s report was disregarded.
Also, Fong claimed police beat him with a baton while repeatedly shouting racist and homophobic slurs — none of which proved true.
“Although I found that Mr. Fong was not a credible witness, I do not conclude he was lying to the court,” Blok explained. “I also do not conclude that Mr. Fong’s failure to tell physicians and experts about other negative events in his life was a deliberate scheme on his part to enhance his personal injury claim or that he displayed ‘a light regard for the truth.’”
Fong attributed all of his subsequent misery to the March 11, 2006 dust-up. However, Blok concluded several setbacks in his life triggered an “existential problem” that “altered his perception of his work identity.”
“These problems would have occurred even if the police incident had not taken place,” Blok decided.
The justice recited the events that dogged Fong after his bloody encounter with police — he lost his hotel management job, developed a crack cocaine habit, squandered $800,000 of his family’s money in a bad investment, and descended into depression.
Now in his 60s, Blok recounted, Fong worked in real estate from 1986 to 1999 before losing that job.
From 1999 to 2002, he managed the Byrd Pub in the Flamingo Hotel, then moved to the Dell.
In July 2005, Fong’s extended family partnered with another man and bought the business. Fong was not a shareholder, but had powers of attorney from his parents and controlled their 49 per cent.
The Dell was rechristened the Oasis Hotel and Fong became general manager.
He accelerated its nose-dive.
Although he disputed it, Fong appeared to bear a grudge against the RCMP because of the way it handled an investigation into $90,000 of missing cash and liquor while he was at the Byrd Pub.
In February 2006, the animosity erupted at a Chinese New Year party for about 20 of his employees and spouses.
Four officers arrived and wanted to know why so many people were still drinking after hours?
A seriously impaired Fong allegedly told them to either “give me a ticket or you f— off out of here. Happy Chinese New Year.”
His friends restrained him.
A month later, several officers arrived at the Oasis to confront a boisterous drunken crowd and demanded to see the hotel’s liquor licence.
During the visit, Fong was manhandled, knocked to the ground, and ended up bruised and bleeding. He was briefly handcuffed.
Several months later, in October, the hotel was shut for health and safety violations because of Fong’s “manifest incompetence.”
He was fired and the hotel sold in late 2006 or early 2007, Blok said.
Fong found a low-level job as a doorman at a Chilliwack hotel, but soon lost it due to his addiction and personal collapse.
In 2009, he was granted WCB benefits for a left shoulder injury and depression, and accepted for a CPP disability pension.
Unfortunately, the following year, Fong squandered $800,000 of his family’s money.
In March 2015, after a court rejected his suit over the investment loss, Fong attempted suicide.
He worked part-time briefly in 2017 and thought about returning to the hospitality industry, but Blok said, “he feels the RCMP would not leave him alone if he did.”
The case was no different than any other personal injury case where some of the injuries or damages claimed have not been proven, Blok maintained.
Although Fong won less than half the amount claimed as costs, the justice said that did not make the award nominal:
“As to the alleged misconduct on the part of (Fong), while he undoubtedly has some personality issues which affected his view of events, he did not proffer his evidence in order to hoodwink the court. His version of events might not have been accepted, but he should not be punished for seeing things as he does.”
The total Fong will receive for costs remains to be determined as the ministry wants them assessed.
“That is another two- to three-day process, and it is a Registrar who will ultimately determine how much the final amount will be,” Fong’s lawyer Paul Kent-Snowsell said.
“It was (and remains) tough slogging given the continued intransigence of the defendants. … I suppose they are trying to show other potential litigants that it will be a fight the whole way — at least, that is my perception.”
Police across the province need to work closer with mental health officials in assessing vulnerable people with whom they have contact, a new study by the B.C. Coroners Services says.
The Coroners Service put together a panel of experts that reviewed the deaths of 127 people who had contact with police within the previous 24 hour and found two-thirds were struggling with mental health and addiction issues.
Their report – Opportunities for Different Outcomes – recommended improving coordination between health services and police, increasing access to mental health assessment and using findings from police encounters for ongoing professional development.
The deaths in the review occurred over five years from 2013 to the end of 2017 and included 56 suicides, 40 accidental or overdose deaths, seven deemed natural and 21 attributable to police used of force. Three deaths resulted from injuries caused by others.
The study noted that 84 percent of the people on the study were men and 61 percent struggled with illicit drug use.
Indigenous people were overrepresented in the numbers, making up 20 percent of the deaths reviewed despite being just six percent of the B.C. population.
The report noted that police have more than 400,000 encounters with civilians each year for criminal-code or traffic-related offences, “and the vast majority of police interactions are resolved without incident.”
Of those calls, more than 74,000 a year are related to mental health issues.
This review found that of the deaths studied, it was often a metal health or substance abuse issue that led to the original call to police.
“More than half of the decedents were exhibiting mental health symptoms at the time of police contact,” the study said.
Many of the deaths were of people living in rural parts of the province.
Michael Egilson, of the B.C. Coroners Service, chaired the review panel, which included 19 experts in policing, police oversight, public health, health services, mental health and addictions.
Egilson said the report highlights the role of police in responding to mental health emergencies in the community.
“These are situations where police officers de-escalate crisis situations, and assess, triage and transport persons for emergency care to health services or to cells,” he said.
“We need to drive home the point that the police have become part of the mental health system and that their role needs to be acknowledged, supported and incorporated into the larger provincial mental health and addictions strategy.”
The deaths highlighted in the report were anonymized with no names or locations included.
A B.C. man with severe breathing issues who recently had his car impounded and driver’s licence suspended — twice — says new rules that allow police across the country to pull over any vehicle and force the driver to take a breath test are causing undue hardship for people who cannot blow into a breathalyzer.
Jimmy Forster, 63, suffers from severe asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and takes daily medications to help him breathe.
He lives in the small village of Chase — population 2,300 — in the B.C. Interior.
In recent months, Chase RCMP have pulled Forster over twice and charged him with failing to provide a breath sample, after he was unable to blow hard enough into a breathalyzer device to register a reading.
“I’m just totally stressed right now,” says Forster, who has an audible wheeze when he speaks and slightly slurred speech due to a childhood brain injury that also left him with a limp.
He’s on a disability pension, but is now on the hook for hundreds of dollars to get his car out of impound and his driver’s licence reinstated, and says he has no idea how he will pay.
There are almost 200,000 Canadians living with severe asthma and more than two million people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to the Canadian Lung Association. Thousands of others have disabilities — such as Bell’s palsy or facial paralysis caused by stroke — that may make them unable to perform a breath test, causing concern for human rights advocates.
“I think it’s important that the police consider human rights principles,” says Dylan Mazur, a lawyer with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, “including the duty to accommodate people with disabilities who can’t provide a roadside test.”
A spokesperson with the RCMP’s national headquarters, Sgt. Marie Damian, did not respond when Go Public asked whether a specific policy exists to provide an alternative for people with disabilities who can’t do a breathalyzer test.
In an email she wrote, “The determination as to whether the subject was ‘able and unwilling’ or ‘legitimately unable’ to provide a sample will be up to the investigating officer.”
“The actual volume and force of breath required for a sample is not significant.”
Pulled over twice
Forster says his first police run-in occurred when he was returning from a trip to the post office on the afternoon of Feb. 14, and an RCMP officer pulled him over and accused him of not wearing a seatbelt.
Forster says he was belted in.
The officer decided to employ the alcohol screening powers that came into effect on Dec. 18, 2018, granting police the right to demand a breath sample from any driver they pull over.
In the past, police couldn’t require a roadside breath test unless they had a reasonable suspicion that a driver had consumed alcohol.
In B.C., any driver who refuses — or, like Forster, fails to provide a breath sample — faces an immediate roadside prohibition (IRP), where their licence is suspended and their vehicle towed, even though there is no evidence of any alcohol consumption.
In other provinces, drivers face a potential criminal charge for refusing to blow.
Forster says he blew into the breathalyzer device, but couldn’t get a reading. He says he explained that he has severe asthma, but the officer didn’t believe him.
“He just said, ‘Blow harder! Blow harder!'” says Forster, who says he tried about a dozen times to breathe deeply into the device, and thought he was going to fall over because he was getting dizzy.
The RCMP officer issued an IRP, despite a lack of any evidence that Forster was impaired.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” says Forster, whose doctor told Go Public his patient has no history of a drinking problem.
Forster appealed to an adjudicator, submitting his medical records. The adjudicator dismissed the case and Forster got his licence back and his car out of impound, without financial penalty.
Asks to take a blood test
A few weeks later, on the morning of March 20, police pulled Forster over again, just after he’d gone for a haircut and filled up his car at a gas station.
“He [the officer] didn’t ask me any questions,” says Forster. “He just brought the breathalyzer and I blew five to six times and had the same thing happen again.”
This time, Forster says, he asked the officer if he could take a blood test instead.
“He totally ignored me,” says Forster. “Just in one ear, out the other.”
Once again, police impounded Forster’s car and suspended his licence for 90 days.
When he appealed a second time, an adjudicator said he believed police notes that said Forster was “putting on a show” to make it look as though he was unable to provide a breath sample.
The notes do not claim that Forster appeared to have been drinking, smelled of alcohol, or was driving poorly.
“I was so choked,” says Forster, who faces about $1,400 in fees to get his car released from impound and his licence back next month. He has already spent $200 each time he appealed the IRPs.
Forster lives with his cousin Sandy Johnston, who relies on him to drive her places since having a stroke 10 years ago.
“I’m totally dependent on Jimmy,” she says. “After his car got taken the second time, he was just in tears. And then I broke into tears, too. And we were crying together.”
‘They can’t do the tests’
A leading researcher on lung disease says assessing whether or not someone’s lung function is adequate to obtain a breathalyzer reading is not something that can be easily done in the field.
“The concern I have is that there likely are people that have lung function that’s so low that they can’t do the tests,” says Dr. Christopher Carlsten, division head of respiratory medicine at the University of British Columbia and director of the Occupational Lung Disease Clinic at Vancouver General Hospital.
He says viral infections and other stressors, such as being pulled over by police, can affect the breathing capacity of someone with compromised lungs.
Others with disabilities challenge test
Go Public has tracked down other cases in B.C. — as well as in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick — in which people with disabilities say they struggled to provide a breathalyzer test.
One of the more prominent cases has prompted a charter challenge against mandatory alcohol screening.
Norma McLeod, 76, of Victoria, was pulled over on Feb. 14, and says she was unable to provide a breath sample due to a chronic lung condition and an implant in the roof of her mouth that’s a result of cancer. Police towed her car and suspended her licence.
“It’s happening more frequently now that the federal government has introduced the provision which permits mandatory alcohol screening based on absolutely no suspicion of alcohol consumption,” says criminal lawyer Jennifer Teryn, part of the legal team representing McLeod.
“If someone’s unable to provide a sample upon demand, it’s my position that the police should have to get engaged in some minor investigation to find out for themselves whether there’s a legitimate reason for that or not,” says Teryn.
Mazur says he also expects police to ask people whether they have a disability preventing them from complying with a roadside breath test demand.
“I’ve heard this from people with disabilities who have mobility issues or who have speech issues — that they can be perceived as intoxicated,” says Mazur.
“What the RCMP has to do is look at their policies, and look at whether there are provisions of reasonable accommodation based on disability.”
‘I plan to raise these concerns’
Go Public asked Mike Farnworth, B.C.’s minister of public safety and solicitor general, about the difficulties some people with disabilities have providing breath tests.
In a statement, Farnworth wrote, “I plan to raise these concerns with my federal counterparts. In addition, I’ve asked my staff to research whether there are any amendments that could be made to the immediate roadside prohibition appeal process in these situations, including options to reduce any financial barriers for requesting a review.”
His ministry said that of 2,558 IRP reviews conducted last year, 491 were dismissed. The office could not determine how many of the cases were dismissed due to disability or medical issues.
Worried it will happen again
Jimmy Forster is due to get his driver’s licence back on June 20, but says he’s anxious police will keep pulling him over.
“I can’t afford it, I’m on disability,” says Forster. “I can’t sleep at night.”
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Abbotsford police are looking for a man in connection with an arson fire at a house in the 22-hundred block of Bedford Place Thursday morning at 3:15 a.m.
Fire investigators say a male suspect backed a mini-van onto the driveway of the home before dousing the vehicle with accelerant and setting it on fire. The flames spread to the garage attached to the home with five people inside.
Sgt. Judy Bird with the Abbotsford police says it’s unclear whether the suspect knew there were people inside sleeping at the time of the attack.
“We are in the preliminary stages of the investigation. We are also working with officers from Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service investigators to collect CCTV from the neighborhood, speak to witnesses, and be able to find out why the family appears to have been targeted and what possibly the motive is.”
All five victims were able to get out of the house in time but were treated for smoke inhalation.
Sgt. Bird says none are known to police.
“This family are truly victims”.
The suspect is described as wearing a hoodie, dark pants and dark shoes and was seen running from the driveway.
Police are asking anyone with information about the attack to contact the Abbotsford Police Department.
A year after it happened, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) is asking the public for help identifying two men in connection with two assaults which took place during a fight in Yaletown on March 31, 2018.
The VPD has released a video captured by Pierre’s Champagne Lounge’s security camera which it says shows the first assault during the fight.
Police say staff at the lounge, located at the corner of Mainland Street and Nelson Street, called 911 to report a fight at roughly 2 a.m. PT on a Saturday.
When officers arrived, they found two alleged victims of the assaults. The men had fled the scene. One victim, a 28-year-old Burnaby man, was taken to hospital with serious head injuries. The other victim had minor injuries.
The video shows a man — wearing an Adidas cap and striped track suit jacket — punching the 28-year-old Burnaby man in the head, outside the lounge’s front door. VPD say the punch took the victim off guard and he fell to the street, possibly hitting his head against the sidewalk.
On the video, the cap-wearing man quickly walks away from the victim, who, VPD say, was unconscious at this point in the altercation. The second suspect is shown standing over the victim. He appears to lean over the unconscious man, gesture at him and take his picture.
“At one point, he appears to take a photograph with his phone,” said VPD spokesperson Sgt. Jason Robillard. “When someone is hurt, you might want to assist. But he didn’t.”
During the same incident, following what police say was a sucker punch, the second suspect allegedly assaulted a second victim, an associate of the Burnaby man.
Security video shows man delivering what police describe as a sucker punch
The video, captured by a bar’s security camera, shows one suspect sucker punching an alleged victim early Saturday morning. Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the two suspects highlighted in the video. 0:33
Robillard said police are releasing the video now, a year after the “cowardly” assault, with the hope that the public will be able to help identify the two suspects.
“This is a serious, disturbing assault. The victim continues to deal with the effects of his life-changing injuries,” said Robillard.
“Detectives have been working behind the scenes to identify the suspects, but we now need the public’s help. We want to talk to all of the people involved and get their version of what took place that night.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Vancouver Police Department or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.
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