British Columbia

Wrong man arrested in Stanley Park seawall slashing

Police say a suspect is still at large after a 33-year-old was slashed in the neck as he walked along Vancouver's Stanley Park seawall Wednesday night.

Police seeking bandana-wearing attacker after 33-year-old man slashed in neck Wednesday night

Vancouver police officers arrested a man at the Second Beach parking lot in Stanley Park Wednesday night. The man was briefly a suspect in a slashing attack on the seawall that night, but police released him Thursday and issued a public appeal for information on a different suspect. (CBC)

A 33-year-old man was slashed in the neck Wednesday night while walking along Vancouver's Stanley Park seawall, and police now say they arrested the wrong man.

Sgt. Randy Fincham says the man who was attacked didn't have life-threatening injuries and was taken to hospital where he was stitched-up, but police no longer have a suspect in custody.

"The man that we believe is responsible for the attack has not been located. We do believe he is still out there," Fincham said.

The attack happened Wednesday night at about 10:45 p.m. PT, along the seawall path between Third Beach and Second Beach. That night, at the Second Beach parking lot, officers found and arrested a 24-year-old Vancouver man who matched the description of a suspect that a witness had given.

With a suspect in custody Thursday morning, Fincham said that the motivation for the attack was not a robbery. He also said that he did not think the wider public would be at risk when using the seawall or the park.

"We're still attempting to determine what it was between these two men that caused this conflict, or caused ultimately this attack, but there's no reason to believe that this is anything more than an isolated incident," Fincham said.

But later Thursday, police released the man they had initially arrested and issued a public warning, and an appeal for more information.

"We are advising the public to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity to the police," Fincham told CBC News in an email Friday morning.

Vancouver police are now looking for a man in his 20s who is around five feet five inches tall, and has a slim build with a "medium complexion."

"The man was wearing all dark clothing, baggy pants, a baseball cap, a dark backpack and a grey and white camouflage bandana over his face," Fincham said, in a written statement.

With files from the CBC's Chad Pawson

now