There was a brief incident at the June 27 Commercial Street Night Market that has been described in at least a couple of different ways in mainstream and social media. There is some truth to each of the stories. The most important points we’d like to make are:
Between the beginning of the incident and the point where we had the situation fully under control, no more than two minutes time passed. Our team was notified just after the first encounter between a Night Market customer and an individual clearly in mental health distress. We caught up with him only meters away where he was engaged in a physical struggle with a bystander. We attempted to intervene and calm the situation when a table knife was thrown to the ground and the individual who dropped it ran. He was pursued by the bystander and the physical altercation escalated. As soon as there was safe space to intervene, our security staff pinned the original perpetrator to the ground and police arrived to bring it to a final resolution.
The Nanaimo Chamber, organizers of the Market, have a robust security plan in place that includes our own staff, local uniformed private security, bylaw enforcement and the RCMP Bike Squad. It is imperative that attendees of the Market not get involved in any security issues but notify any of the above when there is a concern. We wish to maintain the highest level of site security and guest safety. Our staff are all wearing high visibility vests and carry radios in order to respond rapidly to any reports of trouble and put our procedures in place to ensure your safety.
The incident had a minimal impact on the Market, its vendors and guests, was confined to a small space and very brief time frame. Our apologies to any guests who may have been exposed to our first security incident in two years and felt negatively impacted by the experience.