Princeton cop confronted by knife-wielder along highway

Confronted cop with knife

A Princeton RCMP officer conducting highway patrols in the early hours of Saturday morning was confronted by a man staggering down the road with a knife.

Detachment commander Rob Hughes said that when the male came staggering down the middle of the highway, he pulled out a knife and told the officer said "I have this knife."

"So the person was directed to his knees and down to the ground. The person dropped the knife, he was secured and handcuffed. He had a replica pistol tucked in the waistband of his pants, some drug paraphernalia and a vial of suspected fentanyl which was all seized," he said.

Hughes said the officer, who was alone at the time, did everything right in handling this situation.

"We as the police have these fractions of a second to determine what's going on and conduct a risk assessment," he added.

The officer worked to de-escalate the situation, without any injuries resulting to him, the male with the knife or any other civilians.

He called in backup, who responded from home.

"But that takes that a little bit of time to get geared up and get in the car and get on route and get there, even going lights and sirens speed," he said.

After some negative comments came out on social media about why a cop feared for his safety while dealing with this situation, Hughes said he was disheartened.

"He's out by himself. He's out on a dark highway at 2:30 in the morning...We're human beings, somebody with a knife is scary, doesn't matter who you are, or what the situation is, somebody approaching you with a knife out is a scary thing."

Hughes referenced the loss of Burnaby RCMP Const. Shaelyn Yang, who was stabbed to death in October while attempting to issue an eviction notice to a man who had been living in a tent at a local park.

"Despite having her use of force options, everything from pepper spray all the way up to a firearm, she was still stabbed to death," he said.

The man was transported home by the police and released. The incident is still under investigation.

More Penticton News