A call for service in the Royal Oak area led to a school lockdown being initiated at Royal Oak Middle School for approximately 15 minutes this afternoon.
Just before 2 p.m., Saanich Police received a call relating to an 18 year old male that had threatened another 18 year old in the area of Broadmead Plaza. It is alleged that the suspect brandished a collapsible baton and threatened to harm the other male, prior to running from the scene.
Numerous police units responded to the call. Police located a male, matching the description of the suspect near a gas station on West Saanich Road and Viewmont Avenue. The suspect fled from police on foot, and a short footchase ensued. The male was able to evade police by running through residential properties in the area, and by boarding a BC Transit bus.
The suspect male was located on the bus and was taken into custody without incident. The 18 year old saanich resident was found to have numerous outstanding warrants for his arrest and was held in custody.
While it does not appear that the suspect ever entered onto school property, Royal Oak Middlel School staff were notified of the possible threat to students and staff, and immediately took action. The school was placed into lockdown at around 2 p.m., and was notified at about 2:15 p.m. that the male had been arrested. “The lockdown occurred flawlessly, and staff at the school are to be credited for their quick action” Sgt. Steve Eassie stated.
“We did not have information that the suspect would go to the school. However, given that the suspect was believed to be in possession of a weapon, and that he was actively evading police and heading in the direction of the school, it was determined that, out of an abundance of caution, that the school should be notified of the possible threat. This action would have prevented the male from gaining access to the school to seek refuge if he had attempted to do so” Sgt. Eassie stated.
Police remained in the area for some time, following the incident, attempting to locate clothing that was dropped by the suspect, as well as the weapon itself.
The male was last believed to have the weapon, described as a collapsible baton, near the corner of West Saanich Road and Viewmont. It is believed that it was dropped in the area.
Clothing worn by the suspect, including a jacket and a pair pants, were also not located.
The 18 year old suspect faces possible charges of Uttering Threats, Possession of a Weapon for A Dangerous Purpose, and Possession of A Prohibited Weapon.
It is expected that the male will be held for morning court, to appear on Friday, January 31, 2014.
Sgt. Steve Eassie #158