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

Icewine harvesting underway in Okanagan

Hundreds of tonnes of grapes expected to be harvested this year for icewine in surrounding Okanagan area

City of West Kelowna proposes 4.8% tax increase for 2020

Tax increase will generate $2.3 million more in revenue in comparison to 2019 budget, city says

Nominations for Kelowna Chamber of Commerce “40 Under Forty” now open

The chamber said the search for “Best of the Best” is on

Kelowna city council approves off-leash dog beach on Lake Avenue

This is the fourth off-leash dog beach to be implemented in Kelowna

Power restored in West Kelowna

Power is out for those living near Mount Boucherie Secondary School

Province sues over sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after marine lift failed

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Book examines history of B.C. wine industry

Author Luke Whittall has studied the growth of the industry from the mid-19th century to today

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Competitive Christmas decorating takes sarcastic turn in Princeton

It’s not uncommon for neighbours to good-naturely compete with one another when… Continue reading

Alleged Penticton shooter John Brittain waives preliminary trial

Brittain will return to court in January to schedule a trial date

Most Read