Shane Edward Steinhauer, a former resident of tent city, has pleaded guilty to a weapons charge related to an Aug. 3 incident at a parking lot at Port Place Shopping Centre. (News Bulletin file)

Man arrested in machete-wielding incident on Vancouver Island pleads guilty

Two men were charged after brandishing weapons in response to laser pointer provocation

A man arrested after wielding a machete in an incident across the street from Nanaimo’s tent city last summer has entered a guilty plea and been released from jail.

Shane Edward Steinhauer, who Nanaimo RCMP say was a resident of the former Discontent City at 1 Port Drive, pleaded guilty to a count of possessing a weapon – a kitchen knife – for a dangerous purpose, at provincial court in Nanaimo Wednesday, in front of Judge Douglas Cowling. Steinhauer, along with William Robert Carrigan, were charged with numerous offences after an Aug. 3 incident at the mall parkade, where police say two carloads of people allegedly shone a laser pointer at the homeless encampment.

Steinhauer and Carrigan, reportedly armed with knives, machetes and a baseball bat, confronted the people at the parking lot, according to police. The vehicles tried to leave, but the two men charged were said to have made verbal threats and vandalized vehicles, said RCMP. Carrigan had a small axe tucked in his pants at the time of his arrest, police said.

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Among conditions of his release, Steinhauer will be forbidden from having contact with Carrigan and attending both Port Place mall and the former tent city site, which is now a bus loop. He won’t be allowed to possess any knife or sharp instrument, except for purposes of dining, said the judge.

Cowling also heard that Cheyne Hodson, Carrigan’s legal counsel, is working with Ken Paziuk, Crown counsel, on a resolution.

A date for Steinhauer’s sentencing is scheduled to be set on June 11, while Carrigan’s sentencing date is expected to be set on June 18.

A provincial court trial had been set to begin Wednesday.


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