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

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)

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

Just Posted

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

F.W. Green Memorial Home in Cranbrook. Photo courtesy Google Streetview.
Plan for future expansion of F.W. Green Home taking shape

Capital projects underway at East Kootenay Regional Hospital, per update from Interior Health

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Colleen Price, Vancouver Island University’s bachelor of science in nursing program chairperson, says she is impressed with how students have persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Next generation of B.C. nurses already showing resilience

University program head says learning had to be adjusted amidst pandemic

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old B.C. bike rider already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Most Read