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

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is one of three Kelowna schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to an update from the school district Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at 3 Kelowna schools

Interior Health has confirmed exposures at Mount Boucherie, Springvalley and South Rutland schools

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

City of Vernon crews are responding to a small sinkhole on Lakeshore Road in Vernon Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (Contributed)
Sinkhole slows Vernon traffic

Lakeshore Road has been reduced to single-lane alternating traffic Saturday

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Most Read