A man living on the streets of Vancouver is being lauded as a hero for stepping in to help a woman who was being attacked at a West End fast food restaurant.
James Mickelson was having his morning coffee at McDonald’s on Davie Street in Cardero around 9 a.m. Tuesday when he said an altercation between a man and a woman broke out.
The man had been trying to access the bathroom, police said.
“When he realized he was busy, he got violently frustrated, started kicking the door and spilled his coffee. This coffee then landed on one of the victims,” Const. Tania Visintin said.
When a woman, a tourist in her 60s, asked the man to leave, Mickelson said the suspect hit her.
“I had to step in and I had to basically knock someone down and put them on the counter while holding a butter knife to my neck,” he said.
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“And then I let him up and pushed his cart (out the door). That’s when the knife fell out of his hand and two officers arrived from Safeway and began to take control of the scene.”
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The man, in his 40s, was arrested and faces assault charges with a weapon. He is known to the police and to Mickelson.
“This is the second time I’ve put that gentleman down,” he said.
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Mickelson is well known on Davie Street, where many, such as artist Sacha Christiano, applaud his actions.
“Honestly, I’m not surprised,” Christiano said upon learning of the incident. “Characters in this kind of community, we surprisingly have a lot of morals and strong drives, so you would expect something like that. I’m surprised I didn’t hurt him more, I guess, for such disrespect.”
While police say Vancouver is still experiencing an average of four random, unprovoked attacks per day, they urge people not to intervene.
“However, in this case, this man made a very heroic gesture. He stood up to somebody and he stood up to somebody in a moment of danger, so he was very brave of him to do it.”
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Seemingly unperturbed, Mickelson managed to finish his coffee after the incident.
“It’s like I said, never hit a woman in my presence because you’ll regret it.”
– with Lasia Kretzel archives
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