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Not guilty plea in Vancouver stranger machete attack

Two people loading luggage into a taxi in front of the Downtown Eastside's Empress Hotel were attacked by a stranger on June 19, 2022.
vancouver provincial court criminal
Trial dates have been set for Dec. 11-14 and Dec. 18.

The man charged with attacking a stranger with a machete outside a Vancouver hotel has pleaded not guilty and goes to trial in December.

Kenneth Stephen Solowan was arrested on Aug. 10 near Chinatown and made his first court appearance Aug. 17.

He is facing two charges of aggravated assault.

The attack happened June 19 in front of the Empress Hotel in the Downtown Eastside when two people loading luggage into a taxi were attacked by a stranger.

Both of the victims suffered significant injuries and required hospitalization. 

A Vancouver Police Department (VPD) patrol officer was flagged down but the suspect fled immediately after the attack and police investigators could only get a limited description. 

Police said evidence, including security footage of a man fleeing the area, as well as tips from the public, helped detectives identify Solowan as a suspect.

Defence lawyer Jonathan Desbarats confirmed trial dates of Dec. 11-14 and Dec. 18.

Solowan appeared before Judge Kathryn Denhoff by video.

She asked Solowan if he was consenting to stay in custody.

“Yes, your honour,” Solowan said.