An Afghan refugee was stabbed in the throat and chest in an unprovoked attack in Vancouver’s Chinatown.
The 22-year-old victim was locking his bicycle to a street pole on Gore Avenue near East Pender Street at around 6 p.m. local time on Sunday when a man approached him from behind and stabbed him, according to Vancouver Police Department Sgt. Steve Addison.
The victim, who had just moved to Canada in May, was working as a meal delivery worker for Skip the Dishes when he was attacked. Several bystanders were able to call the police and provide first aid to the victim until first responders arrived.
The 22-year-old suffered life-threatening injuries to the neck and chest but is expected to survive, according to reports.
“He got stabbed right at the neck,” witness Francis Cruz told CTV News Vancouver. “He was legit still trying to lock his bike while he was gushing blood. He looked conscious but just shaken. It was so intense.”
The suspect, identified as 43-year-old Dennis Amanand Prasad, was arrested in Crab Park shortly after the attack. He has been charged with aggravated assault and is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.
“At this time, we don’t have a motive. It appears to be random. It appears to be unprovoked,” Addison said. “Young fella who just came to Canada recently in the spring, came from Afghanistan, he was a refugee trying to get a better life and is out here doing his job trying to make a go of it, and he’s attacked.”
The Vancouver Police Department has requested the court to have the suspect remanded in custody due to the violent nature of the offense.
“Public safety is a shared responsibility, and we always encourage people to call police immediately if they see a crime in progress or a person in danger,” Addison told Global News. “We commend the bystanders who comforted the injured victim after the attack, and others who provided eyewitness information that led to the quick arrest of a violent offender.”
Last month, Harold Johnson, a well-known security guard, was repeatedly punched in Vancouver’s Chinatown while patrolling the Chinese Cultural Center. He suffered a concussion, broken nose and cheekbone.
Recently, Johnson’s wife Brandy called on merchants to stand together in solidarity. She expressed her anger toward Mayor Kennedy Stewart and challenged him to walk its streets with her to see what it is like amid rising attacks in the area.
“I am angry,” Brandy told Global News. “What in the world is the mayor doing? I am going to turn around and challenge Mayor Kennedy to come down here by himself to walk with me on the streets. Walk and see what’s really happening here, it’s time he woke up.”