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Person detained after 'serious assault' in downtown Vancouver

Vancouver police officers are pictured at the scene of what the department called a 'serious assault' on Wednesday. (Yvette Brend/CBC - image credit)
Vancouver police officers are pictured at the scene of what the department called a 'serious assault' on Wednesday. (Yvette Brend/CBC - image credit)

Vancouver police detained a person and closed the 800 block of Cambie Street on Wednesday, following what they described as a "serious assault" in the downtown area.

A CBC News reporter at the scene described at least three separate areas taped off by police, which a Vancouver Police Department (VPD) officer said were connected to the same investigation.

Ron Festejo, who works nearby, described the scene to CBC News.

"It's quite shocking," Festejo said. "I saw lots of people just all of a sudden scrambling to run ... away from the person who was doing this.

"The police were on location within minutes and they apprehended the guy quite quickly."

Vancouver police officers investigate the scene of what the department called a 'serious assault' on Wednesday.
Vancouver police officers investigate the scene of what the department called a 'serious assault' on Wednesday.

The VPD closed Cambie Street between Robson Street and Smithe Street around 12:30 p.m. PT. (Yvette Brend/CBC)

A VPD spokesperson confirmed officers are investigating, but could not immediately provide further details.

"Officers are on scene investigating a serious assault," said Const. Tania Visintin in an email at 1 p.m. PT. "As soon as we can, we will provide more information."

The road between Smithe Street and Robson Street was closed to traffic in both directions as police investigated, according to a VPD social media post around 12:30 p.m. PT. It remains closed to vehicles as of 2 p.m. PT Wednesday, but pedestrians were being allowed to pass.

A CBC News reporter observed numerous police vehicles, and officers taking a man into custody, near the entrance of Fairleigh Dickinson University which police had surrounded with yellow crime tape.

Festejo said he saw two people receiving first aid, including one lying on the ground being treated by first responders.

CBC News has not been able to confirm how many people were injured, nor the severity of their wounds.