A man living on the streets of Vancouver has been praised as a hero for stepping in to help a woman who was attacked at a fast food restaurant in the West End.
James Mickelson was having his morning coffee at McDonald’s on Davie Street in Cardero around 9 a.m. on Tuesday when he said a fight broke out between a man and a woman.
Police said the man was trying to reach the bathroom.
“When he realized it was busy, he got so frustrated, he started kicking the door, and threw his coffee. Then this coffee fell on one of the victims,” Kunst. Tania Vicenten said.
When a woman, a tourist in her 60s, asked the man to leave, Mickelson said the suspect punched her.
“I had to step in and I had to get someone down and put them on the table while he aimed a butter knife at my neck,” he said.
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“Then I left him and pushed his cart out (the door). That’s when the knife fell from his hand and two officers came from Safeway and started to take control of the scene.”
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The man, in his 40s, was arrested and faces charges of assault with a weapon. He is known to the police – and Mickelson.
“This is the second time I have put this guy on the floor,” he said.
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Mickelson is well known on Davie Street, where many, such as artist Sacha Cristiano, applaud for his actions.
“Honestly, I’m not surprised,” Cristiano said upon hearing about the accident. “Characters in this kind of society – surprisingly, we have so many morals and strong motives, so you’d expect something like that. I’m amazed he didn’t do him any more harm than, I think, for such disrespect.”
While police say Vancouver still sees an average of four indiscriminate and unprovoked attacks a day, they are urging people not to get involved.
“However, in this case, this man made a very heroic gesture. He stood up to someone and faced someone in a time of danger, so he was very brave of him to do so.”
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Apparently, Mickelson was able to finish his coffee after the accident.
“Like I said, you never hit a woman in my presence because you’ll regret it.”
– With files from Lasia Kretzel
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