On Wednesday afternoon, a visitor at Saanich’s Uptown Shopping Centre witnessed three security guards physically restraining a man who was collecting cans from a garbage bin.
Kristy Westendorp posted a video of the incident on Facebook, commenting that the guards were “restraining him by the back of his shirt to the point it was choking him”, and that the man on the ground was bleeding from multiple places.
The security company that employs the three guards shown in the video, GuardTeck, issued a statement after the footage went viral on Thursday morning, stating that “there was much more to the situation than what is shown in the video”
According to GuardTeck’s release, the person who was being physically restrained was legally banned from the premises as he had a history of violent action in the mall, including assault, theft, damage to property and mischief.
“When he was approached by our staff, he immediately became agitated and assaulted one of our officers,” reads the statement.
It remains unclear what is meant by ‘assault’ in this context. However online reports suggest that the man spat in a security guard’s face.
Uptown and Saanich PD
“We apologize to those guests who witnessed an unfortunate incident on Thursday evening at Uptown. An individual who is legally banned from our site was asked to leave by Security and subsequently assaulted the security officer and was detained until police arrived,” said Kristy Lowes, General Manager at Uptown.
“Our number one priority is creating a safe and friendly environment for all our guests. We will conduct a thorough interval review into this incident and appreciate the level of concern shown by our community.”
Sgt. Jereme Leslie of Saanich Police told Victoria Buzz that police arrived at Uptown Shopping Centre at about 5:15 p.m. on July 25th regarding this incident, and this video is in their possession as well.
“The matter is under investigation and, as part of the investigation, we’re attempting to determine exactly what occurred prior to this video starting,” said Leslie.
No further information has been provided at this time.
Here is the video
WARNING: Violent content and language