A Langley convenience store owner said he was a little shaken up, but physically unharmed after a man took a swing at him with a hatchet during a confrontation Friday (Nov. 15).
Narender Puri said he was in a back room at Ed’s In Brookswood when he heard someone raising their voice with one of his staff.
“He was saying he wanted smokes,” Puri told the Langley Advance Times.
“The way he was shouting and screaming, he didn’t sound normal. I said, go away, I’m gonna call the police.”
That was when the man pulled a hatchet out and started swinging at Puri, a moment captured by the store security video system.
“He swung at me a couple of time,” Puri recalled.
Puri, a former bodybuilder and nationally-ranked boxer in India, had no trouble avoiding the hatchet.
When another staffer moved to intervene with a baseball bat, the man with the hatchet fled, but not before Puri was able to grab the weapon away from him.
There was no intent to injure the man, Puri said, only to get him to leave.
“We don’t want to be criminals, ourselves.”
Puri said by then, 911 had already been called, and Langley RCMP arrived in time to arrest the suspect outside the store at 207th St. and 42nd Ave.
Puri said the incident left him a little rattled.
“I was upset,” he admitted.
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Puri could only recall one other similar incident in the 12 years he has been running Ed’s.
Shortly after Puri took over, a robber with a metal bar hit a staffer, who needed stitches, he related, adding that robber was also arrested and later convicted, and sentenced to three-and-a-half years.
The store has also been a target of after-hours break-in attempts, he added.
Puri said he has been gratified by the community response to the incident, describing how customers have been coming by to express sympathy and show support, as well as online.
Langley RCMP report that 33-year-old Langley resident Rory Welsh was arrested and charged with robbery following a 1 p.m. incident at the store.
According to the police report, a man was demanding a cigar when a confrontation took place.
Welsh is scheduled to have a bail hearing on Tuesday.