Karl Dey received a Certificate of Merit from the Vancouver Police Board on Wednesday. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

A Maple Ridge man was in the right place at the right time twice within 10 minutes, thwarting a theft and a sexual assault.

On Wednesday, he was one of 22 recipients of a Certificate of Merit from the Vancouver Police Board – its highest award for civilian bravery.

Karl Dey was making his rounds in downtown Vancouver delivering water for Mountain Springs Water Company on Dec. 11, 2017 near the intersection of Homer Street and Cordova Street in Gastown.

That morning, he entered a shoe shop and went to the back room with the person working to see how many bottles were needed. When he returned to the showroom, he noticed a man standing by the door with something under his jacket. When the man ran, Dey gave chase. Turning a corner, there was an unmarked police car passing at the moment and a female officer asked Dey if the man stole something. When Dey said yes, the officer jumped out of the car to give chase, as well.

They tackled the man on the street.

It turns out the man had stolen a backpack worth around $600.

Dey, 6’1, 198 pounds, was asked to wait by his truck to make a statement to police. So he finished his delivery, then just as he went back to his truck to wait, he heard a woman scream.

“Like a curdling scream,” said Dey.

He looked in the direction of the scream and ran across the street to a clothing store. He saw a man pulling his pants up and a woman yelling that he tried to rape her. Dey told the man to get on the ground. But the man challenged Dey before running out a back door on to Water Street.

Dey again chased and tackled the man near the steam clock by Cambie Street. He held the suspect with the help of another man until police arrived.

“Then the cops looked at me and said, ‘Aren’t you the same guy that was just dealing with something else up the road there?’”

Dey received his award this past week.

“Of the many people who have received an Award of Merit over the years, never before has a recipient committed two deserving acts in such a short space of time,” reads the certificate.

“For leaping into action, not once, but twice, and ensuring a prolific property crime offender and a violent sex offender were arrested by police, despite a risk to his own safety.”

Dey has a daughter near the same age as the female victim, who’s about 25. When he heard her screams, he said his fatherly instincts took over.

“It wasn’t even a hesitation. I just saw that girl and the look on her face and that guy … ” he added.

“I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

The girl’s family reached out to Dey to say thank you. Her father gave him a hug.

Dey’s wife Michelle couldn’t be more proud of him.

“That’s totally in his nature,” she said of his heroics, although he’s not usually a physical guy.

“He’s not a hot-head.”

When he first texted her about what happened, she thought he was joking.

“You would hope that somebody would be there for you or your daughter if they needed help.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Certificate of Merit that Karl Day received from the Vancouver Police Board on Wednesday. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Just Posted

Rain in Sunday forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Environment Canada calling for 15-20 millimetres in regions

Arena served Summerland for 26 years

Warm winters meant short ice seasons in early 1950s

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

EDITORIAL: Revisiting alcohol consumption

A proposal to allow alcohol consumption in some public spaces in Penticton deserves consideration

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

PHOTOS: Okanagan residents capture epic lightning show

A look at some of the best shots of the storm on May 30

Big White Ski Resort to offer rebate for pass holders after early closure

Next year’s pass will include a 20 per cent rebate

‘No tick is a good tick’: Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation

The foundation’s president said all ticks that attach to humans and pets can carry various diseases

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Most Read