A man wielding a knife tried to break into the Vernon Restholm Aug. 14 while residents and staff were inside. (Security footage)

Knife-wielding man tries to break into Vernon retirement home

Seniors and staff shaken by incident and upset with RCMP response

Residents and staff at Vernon Restholm are shaken after an armed man tried to break into the facility on Wednesday, Aug. 14.

Two female staff members were working in the kitchen when they saw a man through the large windows who started banging on the door and wanted to get in. The two staff were quick to close the blinds and try and shield the 48 residents from the incident, although the constant kicking noise was unavoidable. One resident also alerted them when he saw the man pull out a large knife. The man also allegedly took the knife to one of the staff members’ car.

“He looks like he’s 40 years of age and a good height and everything,” said Vernon Restholm manager Jerry Tellier of the incident that occurred at 5:30 p.m.

“He just started kicking the door, and he continued to do that until the police arrived at seven minutes after 6 p.m.”

It’s that delay, of 37 minutes and five phone calls to RCMP, which Tellier is most upset with.

“It’s unacceptable,” said Tellier, adding that the man was arrested, charged with mischief under $5,000 and released with a promise to not appear at Vernon Restholm again.

“Couldn’t they have kept him under the mental health act? Carrying a knife like that, is he a danger to himself, is he a danger to others? They could have kept him at least for observation.”

Following the ordeal, Tellier has filed complaints with the Civilian Police Commission. And since speaking with RCMP, Tellier says they admit there was a breakdown somewhere.

Meanwhile the situation isn’t the first for staff and residents dealing with vagrancy and crime in Vernon.

“It’s just getting worse and worse. We just had that incident 2.5 weeks ago just down our alley (where a senior was assaulted), the guy was charged with armed robbery.”

READ MORE: Second-quarter police report shows assault, theft on the rise in Vernon

READ MORE: Public safety focus of North Okanagan-Shuswap MP meeting


Jennifer Smith | Reporter

Send Jennifer an email.

Like the The Morning Star on Facebook.

Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Oil recycling made easier in Vernon

A new, upgraded facility has arrived to the Interior Freight and Bottle Depot

Vernon Vipers add to den for home opener

Snakes add one, lose one in time for double weekend hockey play

Falkland senior still missing

RCMP are worried about Bjorn Collnes after his van was recovered in Westwold

Public feedback given at well-attended Okanagan Rail Trail event

Residents gave their feedback on design concepts for the trail’s northern expansion on Tuesday

Vernon’s two cents on Trudeau’s problematic photographs

73% of Vernon residents polled say Trudeau’s brownface photo bombshell was ‘in the past’

VIDEO: Police interview with Sagmoen made public

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

Fire at Kelowna home sends three to hospital

The fire which was located on the second floor of the townhouse complex is now out

Reports of chaos in Penticton, involving police cruiser and possible shots fired

Residents also reported hearing shots fired at the same time as the crash

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

South Okanagan driver held at gunpoint, car-jacked near Penticton

Penticton RCMP are asking for the public to keep an eye out for the suspect, stolen vehicle

Most Read