NANAIMO — The suspect in a bungled robbery at a Nanaimo gas station is alive only because of the heroic actions of several brave bystanders.
Nanaimo RCMP Cst. Gary O’Brien said a 28-year-old Nanaimo man who is well-known to police barged into the Petro-Canada at the south end of Terminal Park Mall just before 6 p.m. on May 26.
O’Brien said the man then pushed past the clerk and ripped the cash register out of the wall. He said the man then smashed his hand on the front door, dropped the till and ran outside towards the glass doors of the garage.
“He punched through the glass, severing his right arm,” O’Brien told NanaimoNewsNOW. “If it wasn’t for the quick action and emergency first aid by several people standing by, it’s most likely this individual would have died.”
O’Brien said two women and a man quickly stopped the suspect’s bleeding with a makeshift tourniquet made from some towels and a bungee cord.
“It’s absolutely outstanding. Understandably there was a lot of blood so they’re putting themselves in harm’s way and then to have the foresight to use the bungee cord to cut that flow of blood off was incredible.”
O’Brien said the three will be considered for a local RCMP award for their actions.
The suspect will remain in hospital for “some time” recovering from a serious arm injury, O’Brien said, adding charges of robbery and mischief are likely to be laid against the man.
He said police believe the man was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. “I don’t think he was working with a full idea what his actions could cause.”
Staff at the store were not injured but are receiving assistance from the RCMP’s Victim Services.