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Death of dog leads to nearly three-hour police standoff in Victoria

Police lights. (via Brendan Kergin)

One man is in custody as Victoria police investigate the death of a small dog outside an apartment building in the 1300-block of Hillside Avenue Monday afternoon (Jan. 20).

Victoria police spokesman Bowen Osoko said officers were called about 4 p.m.

“Officers wanted to speak with the man, but he wasn’t willing to speak with them. As a result, the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team was called and crisis negotiators were called as well,” said Osoko.

Police vehicles lined the street behind the Bellside Court apartment buildings. Two police dogs were also at the scene.

The officers tried to get the man to leave his apartment peacefully. However, he came out of the suite unexpectedly and officers deployed an Arwen, a non-lethal bean-bag gun, said Osoko.

Two loud bangs rang out about 6:45 p.m.

The man was arrested and taken to a hospital for a physical and a mental-health assessment.

“Any time a less-lethal device is deployed in one of these barricaded circumstances, it’s standard procedure that the person is evaluated by medical staff,” said Osoko.

Jason Coté, caretaker of the apartment building, said he was awakened Monday afternoon by a tenant bellowing religious chants. “When I came out, I looked down and there was a dog laying dead on the lawn over there,” said Coté.

The tenant had gone back inside his suite, but Coté could still hear him saying “repent” and “respect the gospel.”

The tenant is a nice man who always paid his rent on time and was no problem, said Coté, who doesn’t believe the dog belonged to the tenant.

“The other question is where did he get the dog. It was just a small tiny little dog, like a Chihuahua. The dog’s neck was snapped,” said Coté, who appeared to be in shock.

After the arrest, forensic officers were called to help determine what happened.

Osoko said he could not say if the dog belonged to the man police arrested. He also said he couldn’t speculate on charges. “Currently, this is being investigated as a criminal matter,” he said.

Coté said his tenant was previously in the military and is from Ontario. He is in his late 20s or early 30s and works at a grocery store.