Fort Nelson man arrested in hatchet attack in Victoria

A Fort Nelson man is in custody after an employee at a store in Victoria was attacked with a hatchet.

On Nov. 1, employees of a business in the 1900-block of Oak Bay Avenue reported that a man attempted to leave the store without paying for several items. When an employee tried to stop him, the suspect attacked the employee with a hatchet he had picked up in the store.

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The employee suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Two customers jumped in and disarmed the suspect just outside the store.

The suspect then re-entered the store, confronted the injured employee and took the Remembrance Day poppy box from the store counter.

When another staff member intervened, the suspect assaulted him, inflicting non-life threatening injuries.

The suspect fled, followed by the store manager, whom the suspect threatened with a large rock. The manager lost sight of the suspect before police arrived.

Victoria police officers did not find the suspect in a search of the area.

After watching surveillance video of the incident, officers realized the suspect was wanted on B.C.-wide warrants, including for sexual assault, assaulting a police officer, touching a person under 16 for sexual purposes, assault and obstructing a police officer.

Major crime detectives located the suspect in Saanich, and he was taken into custody by Saanich police on Nov. 5.

Gary Brandon Reno (born 1995) faces charges of assault causing bodily harm, robbery and weapons possession, in addition to his outstanding warrants.

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