‘I have a knife’: Man charged with threatening Vancouver pizzeria worker – BC
A Vancouver man is facing charges after a pizza parlor worker was allegedly threatened as she tried to do the right thing at her job.
The incident happened at Fresh Slice on West Pender Street in downtown Vancouver.
The store’s motto is « We love our customers ». Kids get a free ball, and staff sometimes offer a free slice of pizza to homeless people in town.
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But Friday night that wouldn’t have been enough for one customer – who demanded to be given a whole pizza.
The counter server, which Global News does not identify for security reasons, said the situation quickly turned aggressive.
“If you don’t bring pizza, I’ll kill you. I have a knife, I kill you,” he told her.
« I’m very scared this time, I’m very scared. »
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Store manager Anpalagan Namasivayam said the employee was fortunately able to quickly call for help.
« This guy came over and then showed the knife and [said] I need all the pizza,” he said.
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« She said no. You want, I’ll give you a slice. He said, ‘No, I need all the pizza’, then he’s behind the door and she says ‘OK, call the police « .
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Downtown Safety Ambassadors responded and the police were called. The suspect fled with an entire pie, according to Namasivayam, but was quickly arrested nearby.
Vancouver police applaud the victim for reporting the incident and say they’ve heard similar stories from many downtown small businesses.
« Sometimes it’s about giving people a handout here or there, they get to know a lot of people in their neighborhood, » said Sgt. Steve Addison of the Vancouver Police Department.
« When an incident like this happens, it really betrays the trust they’ve built with people in the neighborhood and it’s extremely traumatic for them. »
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Juan Serna, 31, was charged with uttering threats of death or bodily harm and theft under $5,000.
Serna, who is due to appear in Downtown Community Court on Tuesday, is also charged with assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose in connection with what police claim was a similar incident on June 19 a few blocks away.
The owner of Pizza 2001, which is in the same block, said he had given out free slices to those in need for years but ended the practice about a decade ago , as it was getting too much, with some people only wanting « free oven ». fresh pizza”.
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« It’s the first time I’ve heard that someone has been threatened with a knife, » said Dominik Novak, an employee in the area.
« I think it’s terrible to be honest. »
Novak said he generally felt safe during the day, although he witnessed a purse theft in broad daylight last Wednesday outside Browns Crafthouse.
« I see a lady screaming here without her purse and looking left and I see a guy running behind the block, » Novak recalled.
« I didn’t see the guy much, but I just saw how he was running behind the block and holding the purse. »
Namasivayam said he was used to people taking advantage of Fresh Slice’s goodwill.
“Sometimes they get a brownie, sometimes they grab the tip jar,” Namasivayam said.
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