Altercation at Port Coquitlam home leaves one man dead, another arrested

Investigators are remaining tight-lipped about an altercation early Sunday morning in Port Coquitlam that left one man dead and another in police custody. 

The incident occurred shortly before 6 a.m., when the Coquitlam RCMP responded to a report of a disturbance in the 2300-block of Atkins Avenue. When officers arrived, they found a man in serious condition. He was rushed to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. 

Former Port Coquitlam city worker charged over alleged metal theft scheme

A second man was arrested at the home in connection with the death. He suffered minor injuries and was taken to hospital. 

That was when the City of Port Coquitlam made a complaint against seven fired employees for what they termed a “highly co-ordinated” copper theft scheme that lasted over a decade and cost taxpayers more than $75,000.

Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said officers were continuing to canvas the neighbourhood and talk to witnesses.

Although the city alleged the thefts totalled tens of thousands of dollars, the single charge against Lewis related to $500 of allegedly stolen pipe, according to Coquitlam RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Michael McLaughlin.

“We have a very good idea of what happened,” IHIT Cpl. Frank Jang told The Tri-City News. “We have quite a few witnesses.”

There were other people in the house at the time of the incident, he added, and several neighbours have also spoken with police. 

Jang would not disclose the names or ages of the suspect and victim but said they were known to each other. Police believe the altercation was an isolated incident and that there isnt any further risk to public safety.

The seven employees fired over the alleged metal theft have filed grievances over their terminations. A third-party arbitrator will hear their arguments at a later date.

While investigators are piecing together what happened, Jang said they are still hoping to hear from anyone who has not yet spoken to police. 

“While were aware of allegations of quite a large sum of money or copper that was sold, we did not find evidence to support that in a criminal court,” McLaughlin said.

“We are speaking with witnesses and we are doing a canvas of the neighbourhood surrounding that home,” he said. “We are asking for people… who may have heard any yelling or screaming or anything out of the ordinary.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police at the IHIT information line (1-877-551-4448) or email [email protected] Those who wish to share information anonymously can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. 

He called the alleged crime an unusual one because most metal theft involves stealing public art pieces or wire from infrastructure.

When Coquitlam RCMP responded to a report they received around 5:44 a.m. on November 4 about a disturbance at a house in the 2300-block of Atkins Avenue in Port Coquitlam, officers located a man who had sustained serious injuries. He was taken to hospital but despite treatment, he later died.

Port Coquitlams director of human resources, Steve Traviss, said the city has made changes since firing the seven employees.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) stated in a news release that investigators have determined it was an isolated incident, the two men knew each other, and that there isnt any risk to public safety.

He said the investigation into the complaint is considered complete and barring new evidence, further charges are unlikely.

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