Brandon Smith has lived in his Ladner home for 25 years. He has never locked his front door during the day, but that will likely change given the harrowing ordeal he and his girlfriend experienced last Saturday night.
Just after 8:30 p.m., Smith and his girlfriend were in their kitchen when suddenly the front door of the 55th Street home burst open and a man rushed inside.
“He was Indo-Canadian all dressed in black,” Smith recalled in an interview with the Optimist. “He came inside, shut the door and locked it behind him. After initially being startled, I yelled out to him who he was and why he was inside the house.”
That’s when the tale took a turn like a scene out of a Hollywood movie.
“The man said that there had been gun shots across the street, that his girlfriend had been kidnapped and that the perpetrators were outside waiting and after him,” Smith recalled. “I was on the phone to police immediately. I told him to stay where he was and to not approach us any further.”
While on the phone with police dispatch, the intruder began to pace inside the house and make his way down the hallway.
“That’s when both my girlfriend and I picked up a knife and put it in our pockets just in case things turned violent,” said Smith, who said the man did not appear to have any weapons on him. “I told my girlfriend to get upstairs and get on the roof so she was out of harm’s way.”
Smith continued to assess the situation, keeping the intruder calm, while maintaining contact with police dispatch.
“Dispatch wanted me to go outside, but I’m like what am I potentially walking into,” he said. “Part of me thinks that this guy is mentally unstable or on drugs and delusional and the other part of me is like is there someone outside waiting to shoot?”
Smith told the man he would exit the house to check outside and while doing this, the intruder stayed in the home.
“There was nothing outside and dispatch said police were a block away. I waited for them and they arrived and took control of the situation and got the man out.”
Smith said police told him the man could be connected to new tenants who recently moved into a house across the street, a home Smith said has been on the police’s radar.
“Just days prior an officer visited and asked whether I had any problems with the people across the street,” said Smith. “It seems to be a problem house. I’m just glad this incident is over. We are shook up, but OK. Glad this wasn’t my neighbours or up the street. This is a quiet street, kids around, families. Who knows what could have happened?”
Delta police spokesperson Cris Leykauf confirmed with the Optimist that officers responded to a man at a residence seeking assistance.
“During the investigation officers noted the man needed assistance with mental health issues and took appropriate steps, including putting our mental health unit in touch with the person,” said Leykauf. “Officers continue to assist the man, and are liaising with other agencies in regard to his well-being.”