Police seeking psychiatric assessment of Red Lion owner

Five employees stabbed with scissors Saturday afternoon in "chaotic" scene

Saanich police arrested one of the owners of the Red Lion Inn on Douglas Street Saturday after five of his employees were stabbed with a pair of scissors.

Police were called to the “volatile and chaotic” scene around 4:30 p.m., where they immediately found multiple victims at multiple crime scenes inside the hotel.

Det.-Sgt. Chris Horsley said witnesses quickly assisted police in determining a lone suspect was responsible.

“As police were unaware if other potential victims were in danger, the first three officers on scene formed a team to search the large hotel complex. The officers were able to quickly ascertain the suspect had gone inside a rear office,” Horsley said in a release. “Although the door was locked, the members breached the door as it was unknown if other persons were inside.”

Officers arrested the suspect, 52-year-old Zhi Wei “Wally” Meng, without incident.

The motive for the attack has yet to be determined, but Sgt. Dean Jantzen says they are seeking a psychiatric evaluation for the suspect.

“We have to be mindful of any and all aspects that might’ve influenced this situation, least of all what the suspect’s mental wellbeing was at the time,” he said.

Police say the stabbing suspect first attacked employees in the hotel’s Jade Fountain Restaurant. The restaurant was not open to the public at the time. He then moved to the kitchen, where more employees were stabbed.

Lastly the suspect then went upstairs and stabbed the front desk clerk in the lobby of the hotel. He then locked himself in an office.

“This is a police officer’s nightmare. (The hotel is) described to me as a honeycomb of hallways. A facility this size, something this confusing with people everywhere and you’re not sure who’s a victim – it’s literally a worst nightmare,” Jantzen said.

All five victims were taken to hospital Saturday evening, and were released by Monday morning.

While Jantzen was unsure of the extent of all the injuries, he said victims were stabbed all over. “It was limbs and back, arms and chest. Some were multiple (stab wound victims), some where single,” he said. “Other employees avoided injury by fleeing.”

Two court-certified interpreters – speaking Cantonese and Mandarin – were brought in to assist police in obtaining statements from witnesses and victims.

Meng now faces five counts of aggravated assault. As of Monday he remained in police custody.

kslavin@saanichnews.com