Suspect charged in relation to 4 unprovoked assaults on Vancouver's West Side

Colin Akwei, 39, is believed to have assaulted 4 people in February.

Colin Akwei, 39, is believed to have assaulted 4 people in February

Colin Akwei, 39, is accused of ​assaulting four people in separate unprovoked incidents on Vancouver's West Side, according to police. (Vancouver Police Department)

Police have arrested a suspect believed to have assaulted four people on Vancouver's West Side last month.

Colin Akwei, 39, has been charged in connection to four separate and unprovoked attacks in the Kitsilano area in February.

The Coquitlam man was arrested in that city around 3 p.m. PT on Wednesday.

Vancouver police said investigators identified Akwei​ thanks to a tip from the public.

Akwei​ is charged with one count of assault, one count of assault with a weapon. Sgt. Jason Robillard said further charges are expected.

String of attacks

The first two alleged assaults happened on Feb. 5. The next was Feb. 22, and the fourth on Feb. 24.

"In each case, the suspect would approach the victim in a public place, such as a sidewalk or convenience store," said VPD Sgt. Jason Robillard.

"Without provocation, he would either punch, elbow or push the victim before walking away," he added.

Robillard said no one was seriously physically harmed in the incidents. The officer said Akwei​ remains in custody and police aren't looking for any other suspects at this time.

Police released surveillance footage of the suspect in an appeal for the public's help on Friday. Robillard said several tips came in after the release and one of those tips led to Akwei​'s arrest.

Motive unclear

Robillard said three of the victims were in their 20s. The fourth was a woman in her early 40s.

"We're not ruling out any issues, including mental health. We're looking at anything," he said. "There are some working theories ... right now the motive is just unclear."

Anyone with information about the suspect or who may have witnessed an attack is asked to call the VPD's Major Crimes Section at 604-717-2541, or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-222-8477.