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

COVID-19 test tube. (Contributed)
test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health launches online booking for COVID-19 tests

Testing is available to anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

BC Liberal Party candidate Jackie Tegart says that her party has pledged a $2 million investment in developing the McAbee Fossil Beds east of Cache Creek. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
BC Liberals promise $2 million investment in McAbee Fossil beds

Site has potential as a centre for education, research, and tourism

NDP candidate Aaron Sumexheltza says that if re-elected, the BC NDP will commit to 24/7 emergency department service at the Ashcroft Hospital. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Fraser-Nicola NDP candidate pledges 24/7 Ashcroft emergency department

Horgan government commits to round-the-clock emergency department at Ashcroft Hospital if re-elected

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Volunteer registered nurse Stephanie Hamilton recieves a swab from a driver as she works at a Covid-19 testing site in the parking lot at Everett Memorial Stadium on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
13 more COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

There are 624 cases in the region since the start of the pandemic

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

Most Read