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Assault, stabbing of Kamloops homeless advocate won't shake his resolve

Glenn Hilke was assaulted at The Loop on Feb. 24, 2022, and he hopes the judicial system will help his assailant get the mental health treatment he needs.

There's more to the story of a violent assault on Tranquille Road last month than Kamloops RCMP revealed, and the victim says it shows a need for more mental health services.

Homeless and mental health advocate Glenn Hilke was punched and stabbed in February, after a client at The Loop became enraged during what appeared to be a psychotic episode.

Hilke, who runs The Loop outreach centre at 405A Tranquille Road, is shaken by the incident, which resulted in the assailant being tasered by police during the arrest.

"I've never had anything like this happen to me in the 40-some-odd years I've been doing community service work," Hilke said. "But I'm not retiring or resigning."

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Kamloops RCMP responded around 11 a.m., Feb. 24, to The Loop. In a news release, police said there was a stabbing and an attempted vehicle theft, which is true, but Hilke said it's not the whole truth.

He said that morning was calm at The Loop, where volunteers were serving breakfast to clients.

"All of a sudden, a guy that we know who frequents The Loop... just emotionally exploded," he said.

Hilke does not know the full extent of the man's mental health troubles, but the man claimed The Loop was being funded by his family and the organization owed him "millions of dollars," along with the keys to the building and the organization's Honda Odyssey minivan, Hilke recalled.

In attempting to de-escalate the situation, which Hilke and other volunteers have been trained to do, Hilke tried to lead the man outside.

"Next thing I know, I got punched in the face," he said. "And all hell broke loose inside."

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The man was eventually removed from the building and police were called, but the suspect was gone before they arrived. As officers went searching in the area, Glenn felt it safe to retrieve something from the very minivan the suspect felt belonged to him.

"At the exact moment I unlocked the door and pushed it open, he was on the other side of the door," Hilke said. "It's the worst kind of synchronicity you could imagine."

While in a tug-of-war to keep the door closed, Hilke was stabbed in the forearm.

"Fortunately I had many layers on, and I think his knife was a small paring knife," he said, adding that he's healing and the wound was minor.

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He found once he acknowledged the man's psychotic break and "stepped into his reality," Hilke said it helped calm the assailant down just long enough to lock the door. Hilke simply told the man he would be back with cash and the keys.

Police returned and after finding the suspect, they used a taser to subdue him and bring him under arrest.

Hilke found the incident left him anxious, but has not changed his resolve to both offer and advocate for homelessness and mental health services in Kamloops.

"This is a story of what happens when untreated mental health, co-occurring with homelessness, poverty, the stress of food insecurity — all of those things weighing on somebody, and then they snap," he said.

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The suspect, Richard Annett-Chartier, is facing several criminal charges for the incident. Hilke said both police and prosecutors alluded that Annett-Chartier would be best served for his mental health challenges through the judicial process. The charges against Annett-Chartier have not been proven in court.

"We're hoping that this continued process of psychiatric assessment will hopefully translate into meaningful treatment for him," Hilke said.

For now, Hilke feels more at ease that the suspect is in custody while the court process continues. The Loop even considered hiring security services, but found it too expensive. The Loop continues to serve meals to address food insecurity in Kamloops, along with offering a work program for its clients to be more fully involved with the outreach centre's operations.

Hilke said some of the other volunteers were feeling shaken about the incident, but the "core group" of volunteers continue to show up regularly.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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