A man who lives on the streets of Vancouver is being hailed a hero for helping a woman who was allegedly attacked by another man at a West End restaurant in Vancouver.
James Mickelson was getting coffee from a McDonalds on Davie in Cardero about 9am on Tuesday morning when he says an altercation broke out between a man and a woman.
Vancouver police said the woman, a tourist in her 60s, was at McDonalds when a man tried to gain access to the laundry room.
“When he realized it was occupied, he became very violently frustrated, started kicking the door, threw his coffee and landed on one of the victims,” Const says. said Tania Visintin.
When the woman asked the man to leave, Mickelson said the suspect allegedly beat her.
“I had to intervene and I actually had to knock someone down and put him on the counter while he pointed a butter knife to my neck,” he said, adding that he managed to fend off the man and open the door.
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“And then I left him upright and pushed his cart out. That’s when the knife fell from his hand and two Safeway officers came and began taking over the crime scene.”
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The man in his 40s was arrested and charged with assault with a weapon. He is known to the police and Mickelson, who also claims to be homeless.
“This is the second time I’ve put that gentleman on the floor,” Mickelson said.
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Mickelson is also well known on Davie Street, where some like artist Sacha Christiano applaud his actions.
“Honestly, I’m not surprised,” Christiano said when he heard about Mickelson’s actions. “The characters in this kind of community surprisingly have a lot of strong morals and kind of impulses, so you would expect something like that. I’m surprised he hasn’t hurt him more because of such disrespect.”
While police are urging people not to intervene in attacks, Visintin says: “In this case, this man made a very heroic gesture. He stood up to someone and confronted someone in a time of danger, so it was very brave of him to do that.”
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Apparently undeterred, Mickelson managed to finish his morning coffee after the incident.
“It’s like I said, you never hit a woman in my presence because you will regret it,” he said.
— with files by Kristen Robinson
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