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West Vancouver police conclude no needle attack at Park Royal

It’s not clear exactly what happened, but police now say there was 'no criminal intent' behind the incident
west vancouver police detachment
West Vancouver Police Department investigators have concluded there was no criminal intent behind a strange incident captured on video at Park Royal. | file photo Cindy Goodman, North Shore News

Police who investigated an alleged needle poke attack at a West Vancouver shopping mall say they’re satisfied no Cold War spy vs. spy attack took place and that there’s no public safety concern about a potential repeat incident.

West Vancouver Police issued a public statement after concluding their investigation into a “strange incident” last week, in which a shopper at Park Royal Shopping Centre appeared to be pricked in the arm by a stranger who squeezed past him and made contact with his arm. Later, the man told police his arm became sore, prompting him to seek medical attention.

The whole incident was captured on the mall’s video security cameras.

Police then issued a plea for the person in the video to come forward and offer an explanation.

That has now happened, said Sgt. Chris Bigland, spokesman for the West Vancouver Police.

“He provided us an account of what happened,” said Bigland. “We’re satisfied a needle was not involved in this.” Bigland added police do not feel there is any ongoing public safety concern.

“Fortunately, it was a very boring and benign event,” he said.

Bigland said he understood why the public plea from police, accompanied by video footage, garnered a lot of attention, particularly when combined with spy movie style speculation about what could have taken place.

“There were some very dramatic possibilities when you watch the video,” Bigland acknowledged.

But he said having spoken to the man they asked to come forward, “we are satisfied there was no criminal intent.”

Bigland said he couldn’t comment on whether the actions of the man captured in the video were intentional. He said he also couldn’t comment on whether medical or mental health issues were involved.

Bigland declined to say exactly what did happen but added the individual who reported that his arm had possibly been ‘pricked’ has been given a full account by police.

Earlier, police described how the man’s arm became red and sore following the incident, adding he had been required to take a cocktail of medications and receive blood tests.

Bigland said police are still “working with these two parties to resolve the matter.”

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