Area where stabbing took place not a problem say Penticton RCMP

A stabbing near Eckhardt Avenue and Main Street has not raised serious concerns with authorities or nearby neighbours.

RCMP were called to a residence near the corner of Main Street and Eckhardt Avenue following a report of an assault with a weapon in June. Despite a recent stabbing in the same area there are no escalating concerns about safety.

RCMP were called to a residence near the corner of Main Street and Eckhardt Avenue following a report of an assault with a weapon in June. Despite a recent stabbing in the same area there are no escalating concerns about safety.

A stabbing near Eckhardt Avenue and Main Street has not raised serious concerns with authorities or nearby neighbours.

According to Rick Dellebuur, RCMP community policing co-ordinator, while the Oct. 7 incident was significant, it has not prompted police to increase resources in the vicinity.

Read more: Stabbing leaves Penticton man with serious injuries

“In an area like that there’s always a little bit extra calls for service but it’s not really a problem area,” said Dellebuur. “Because it’s (the 24/Seven convenience store) 24 hours we do get calls for service but I wouldn’t say it’s any more of a problem than down at the other end of town. There’s a lot of foot traffic and a lot of our trouble clientele, they’re on foot.”

A 41-year-old man was dropped off at Penticton Regional Hospital on Oct. 7 at about 11 p.m. suffering apparent stab wounds to the chest and torso which RCMP said required surgery.

The person who left the victim at the hospital was driving an older model pickup and left before police arrived.

That man, who was later located, reportedly told hospital staff the incident happened when the other male was jumped at the 24/Seven store.

The business owner, who asked not to be identified, said the stabbing was not in the building and she was unaware of where it took place.

“I think the fellow came in the store to do some shopping or something but we don’t have any idea where they go or what they did,” said the owner. “All I know is they (police) wanted the videos and they wanted to see who came in the store on that day and what time they came in.”

She added, as much as possible, staff try to keep people from loitering outside the building.

“We try to keep it clean and I know sometimes they (staff) get trouble for telling them to leave but that’s the business, we can’t let them hang around here,” said the owner. “We do our best.”

One of the store’s neighbours is Penticton Secondary School. Principal Alan Stel said they are proactive in keeping students from loitering in the area on school days which includes walk-throughs of the area by himself and other staff.

Stel felt because the stabbing happened outside of class hours and didn’t involve students, it was not an issue requiring action by the school.

“We have kids who frequent that store daily and we don’t have a closed campus except in certain situations where we know student safety is involved,” said Stel. “We know there are often minor instances but we have a pretty good relationship with the owner and the staff there.”

Both he and the store owner referenced one multi-unit residence which is in close proximity to both the school and store.

Police are regularly dispatched to that location on disturbance calls.

One of the more serious matters this year was in June, when a male believed to be associated with the residence attacked another person with a weapon around 3 p.m. on a school day and which spilled out onto the street.

Read more: Police called to fight involving weapons

In another incident in 2015, a home invasion took place at the same location. Two people were later sentenced to jail time where it was heard in court an assault took place in the house over a drug debt.

Read more: Co-accused in home invasion sentenced

Going further back, a Penticton man was sentenced to federal prison for a kidnapping and robbery that took place in 2010. A Summerland man standing in the parking lot of the convenience store was forced into a vehicle and then robbed.

Read more: Four facing charges of kidnapping

“We’ve had some very minor incidents related to individuals in that residence over the last four years that I’ve been here but really very little interaction considering it’s right on the edge of our property,” said Stel.  “Usually it’s an adult who is behaving uncharacteristically and there is some interaction that is negative but those instances have been pretty far and in between.

“We do as much as we can in the moment to avert a crisis or an incident but it’s sometimes hard to predict where it’s going to be next time,” said Stel.

Added the store owner: “People call them (police) all the time on that building.”

The matter of the stabbing is still under investigation and police at this time are not releasing further details and the incident appears to be random.