Man praised for stepping in after woman assaulted at Vancouver McDonald’s


A man living on the streets of Vancouver is being praised as a hero for stepping in to help a woman who was allegedly attacked by another man at a restaurant in Vancouver’s West End.

James Mickelson was getting his morning coffee at a McDonalds on Davie at Cardero around 9 a.m. Tuesday when he says an altercation broke out between a man and a woman.

The woman, a tourist in her 60s, was inside the McDonalds when a man tried to access the washroom, according to Vancouver police.

“When he realized it was occupied, he became very violently frustrated, began kicking the door and he threw his coffee then landed on one of the victims,” Const. Tania Visintin said.

When the woman asked the man to leave, Mickelson says the suspect allegedly punched her.

“I had to step in and I had to basically take someone down and put him on the counter while he was pointing a butterknife into my neck,” he said, adding he managed to fight the man off and open the door.

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“And then I let him up and pushed his cart out. That’s when the knife fell out of his hand and two officers came from Safeway and started to take control of the scene.”

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The man in his 40s was arrested and is facing charges of assault with a weapon. He is known to police and Mickelson, who says he is also experiencing homelessness.

“This is the second time I’ve put that gentleman to the ground,” Mickelson said.

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Mickelson is also well known on Davie Street, where some like artist Sacha Christiano are applauding his actions.

“Honestly, I’m not surprised,” Christiano said upon hearing about Mickelson’s actions. “The characters in this kind of community we surprisingly enough have a lot of strong morals and kind of impulses, so you would expect something like that. I’m surprised he didn’t hurt him any further for such disrespect.”

While police urge people not to intervene in assaults, Visintin says, “In this case this man did a very heroic gesture. He stood up to somebody and confronted somebody in a time of danger, so it was very brave of him to do so.”

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Seemingly unfrazed, Mickelson managed to finish his morning coffee after the incident.

“It’s like I said, you never hit a woman in my presence cause you’ll regret it,” he said.

— with files from Kristen Robinson

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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