Man with knife frightens shoppers

Man held overnight after public intoxication incident.

PORT HARDY— A man with a knife threatened passers-by in Port Hardy last week.

According to witnesses, the man in his late twenties was seen intoxicated on Market Street and became belligerent, attempting to intimidate others on the street.

Witnesses also said the man was in possession of a knife, although it was unclear if the knife was ever used to threaten anyone, with reports seeming to suggest he was exposing the knife in order to intimidate, as opposed to pointing the blade at anyone.

The man, who witnesses believed to be a fisherman from Prince Rupert, then made his way towards the liquor store, where staff subsequently denied service to the intoxicated man. Apparently, this did little to improve his humour, and he continued on his way, even more determined to find an argument.

Word of the belligerent man, and the fact that he had a knife, had traveled before him, and Michelle Payie, Manager at The Bargain Store, did not want to take any chances. When the man approached, Payie told those outside to come in and she locked the doors to keep him out.

“I told my staff to call the cops and we locked the door for safety,” said Payie. She said that the man came up to the door and attempted to goad those inside to come out and fight him. “It was scary,” she said.

Local RCMP responded quickly to the call and picked up the intoxicated man, before taking statements from witnesses inside the store.

Cpl. Ryan Netzer of the Port Hardy detachment played down the incident, describing it as a “run-of-the-mill public intoxication.” Officers took the man back to the station, where he was held overnight to sober up and released the next day, with the possibility of charges relating to the public intoxication to follow.