Police won’t confirm that a man stabbed in Burnaby on the weekend was a longtime Metrotown street preacher but confirmed the victim had been the subject of a number of public complaints and had been in the area on a “daily or weekly basis” before the stabbing.
Police got a call from the victim, a 50-year-old man, just before 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to Burnaby RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Kalanj.
The man said he’d been stabbed in the stomach by a stranger near the Metrotown bus loop, Kalanj said.
He was taken to hospital by ambulance and released later that day.
“Police have obtained surveillance video in the area and continue to investigate,” Kalanj told the NOW. “The suspect has not been identified and there is no known motive at this time.”
On social media, people who said they live in the neighbourhood and use the bus loop and SkyTrain station regularly, said the victim was a street preacher who comes to the area frequently, preaching loudly at passersby and carrying a placard with religious messages.
Numerous online posts dating back at least three years complained the man was rude and his preaching was often sexually explicit, homophobic and offensive.
In one photo posted online, he is carrying a sign that states “Gay sex: Immoral & wasteful. God forbids and destroyed those who persistently do it.”
One online post said the man’s placard had been “left alone and isolated with fencing” at the scene of the stabbing.
When asked if the victim of Saturday’s stabbing was the street preacher, Kalanj said the detachment doesn’t “normally talk about victims.”
“I can confirm that it is a person that is in that area on a daily or weekly basis,” he said.
The victim has also been the “subject of complaints,” according to Kalanj.