A crowd in Victoria, British Columbia attacked police officers and stabbed them with a needle while the officers attempted to resuscitate an overdose victim.

According to a media release by Victoria Police Department (VicPD), on Saturday night an officer was called to respond to an overdose incident on Pandora Avenue. 

“Officers located the person in distress, who was unconscious, without a pulse and not breathing, a short distance away in the 900-block of Mason Street. Officers administered nasal Naloxone that they were carrying and began chest compressions and CPR,” VicPD said.

“While officers were providing life-saving medical care to the person, a crowd gathered and began to attempt to intervene in the emergency medical care officers were providing. Additional officers attended and began to move the crowd back. One of the officers was then stabbed under the arm with a needle by a man in the crowd.”

The suspect involved was arrested and has since been charged with obstruction and assaulting a police officer with a weapon. 

“The person suffering from the overdose regained a pulse, resumed breathing, and a short time later, regained consciousness. Despite the arrival and offers of care from BC Emergency Health Services paramedics, they declined further medical attention,” the release states. 

The incident comes as the Victoria Police Board once again faces threats of defunding from City Council.

In February, municipal politicians requested a budget reduction for the VicPD, ordering a budget that “caps the property tax increase at inflation (6.96%) and that the Police Board develop a new draft budget at the same rate.”

The reduction would be tantamount to a $1.7 million cut for the department. Writing to City Council, Police Board Finance Committee chair Doug Crowder rejected the cut saying that it would jeopardize the police’s ability to protect the community. 

“Although the board acknowledges the difficult choices council has to make during this inflationary period, the board is still of the position that the budget it has presented is one that meets the legislative requirements under the Police Act to provide adequate and effective policing to the city and Township,” wrote Crowder. 

“Therefore, the Board is not prepared to amend the budget as requested by Council.”