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 Okanagan 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.”

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

Okanagan table tennis players thrive at 55+ games

Nine Salmon Arm residents were tough to beat at the games in Kelowna last week

Lakeview Water System users in West Kelowna under water quality advisory

A water quality advisory has been issued for parts of West Kelowna.

Bicycle incident on Daimer Drive in West Kelowna

One man has been taken to hospital

Kikinee Salmon Festival returns to Kelowna for another year

The Kikinee Salmon Festival is taking place this Sunday at Mission Creek Regional Park in Kelowna.

Bulls on parade down Glenmore

A small bull ran into traffic on Glenmore Road in Kelowna earlier this morning

‘It’s almost surreal’: South Okanagan fire chief, sidekick Sammy recap rescue mission in Bahamas

Chief Larry Watkinson and Sam the disaster dog spent 8 days assisting a search and rescue team

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Vancouver police could be using drones to fight crime by end of year

The police department has already purchased three drones, as well as three others for training

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Kootnekoff: Wrongful dismissal award against B.C. law firm

A recent case from a Vancouver-based law firm

Okanagan ski racer chosen for grant in end game

Makena Kersey, 18, has called it a career following a gruesome leg injury, but story inspires grant

Most Read