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Police dog Knight helps apprehend ‘roof top crawler’ in downtown Nanaimo

Suspect alleged to have broke into building, smashed windows

A man was arrested after he climbed atop several building rooftops in downtown Nanaimo before breaking into a business earlier this week.

The incident began at approximately 10 p.m. Tuesday, April 19.

According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, police were alerted when RCMP dispatchers received a call from a resident who reported they could hear foot steps on the roof of a building on Church Street.

Officers quickly determined that someone had used a stolen ladder to gain access to a heritage building at the corner of Commercial and Bastion streets and had unlawfully entered several businesses located on building’s second floor, the press release said.

Officers surrounded the building and tried to reason with the suspect, who would frequently stick his head out through windows that he had previously broken. The officers’ attempts to have him leave the property peacefully were unsuccessful, said the press release.

While some officers kept an eye on the suspect from the roof of the Coast Bastion Hotel, others worked with Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters to breach the front door of the business in an effort to prevent him from breaking more windows.

During the arrest, RCMP police service dog Knight assisted in subduing the man who, the release noted, was unco-operative and highly agitated.

Knight sustained several minor injuries to his paws and required medical treatment at a local animal hospital.

“This was an extremely dynamic situation where investigators were faced with apprehending a highly unpredictable and violent offender who appeared to be under the influence of unknown substances. Police service dog Knight and his handler were instrumental in bringing this critical incident to relatively quick conclusion,” said reserve Const. Gary O’Brien in the press release.

The 27-year-old suspect, who is not from Nanaimo, was taken into custody with minor injuries, and treated on scene by B.C. Ambulance Service paramedics. He was later released from police custody and is scheduled to make his first appearance in provincial court in Nanaimo in June to face charges for breaking-and-entering, theft under $5,000 and mischief.

READ ALSO: City plans to address downtown Nanaimo safety by adding more uniformed officers
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