Kamloops business owner identified man who sent security guard, 71, to hospital - InfoNews

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Kamloops business owner identified man who sent security guard, 71, to hospital

Matthew Santoro, born 1987, is charged with assault causing bodily harm.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK / Jason Warner
July 08, 2020 - 5:21 PM

The man charged with assault causing bodily harm on a 71-year-old security guard is no stranger to the courts.

Court records show Matthew Santoro, born 1987, is facing one count of assault from the incident. He was arrested and released.

The online database states he is also known as Matthew Mancini, and he has faced several charges in Surrey from 2018. He was found guilty of six counts of motor vehicle theft, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and possessing break-in instruments.

A Kamloops business owner played a role in the arrest of Santoro, but he prefers to remain anonymous due to the nature of the situation. The man recognized Santoro from photos that were shared on social media by the victim’s son.

READ MORE: 71-year-old Kamloops man assaulted while on duty in Riverside Park

“I had a prior interaction with him where I knew who he was,” the man says. “At first when I saw his picture I was like, ‘I don’t know if this is that person,’ but looking more closely I realized it was him.”

The man shared his knowledge with Jason Warner, the son of the victim. The next morning, July 7, he shared his information with the RCMP.

As luck would have it, later that day around 6:30 p.m., the man was driving and saw Santoro on his bike. He says he recognized him because he was wearing the same black hat as he was in the photo.

“By chance, I see the same guy as he’s riding his bike on Valleyview Drive. I quickly called the RCMP who are investigating this, and I said, this person is right here on Valleyview Drive heading east and they quickly said, ‘we’ll send people out there, be sure to keep an eye on him but don’t get too close and keep a safe distance.’”

The man followed Santoro and was mostly able to keep him in sight while travelling within the Valleyview neighbourhood.

“Obviously, because I’m in a vehicle I had to go faster than him so I was keeping a distance, I lost sight of him a couple of times but he continued on… when you’re on Frontage Road there’s quite a bit of traffic, so I’d be at stop signs he’d just keep going while I had to wait behind traffic,” the man says.

He saw Santoro go near the Valleyview boat launch, but he suspects that’s when Santoro realized something was up. The man watched as Santoro pedalled back to the side of Highway 97 he was previously on.

“I think he saw them coming and he went back over. When he went back over, there were plain clothes officers, there was CP police and RCMP in marked and unmarked vehicles so they had a heavy police presence when they arrested him,” the man says. “When I saw the police were about to arrest him I pulled into a dealership because I thought, ‘I don’t know if this person is dangerous or if he’s got guns, I’ll let RCMP do their thing.’” 

The man says he watched as Santoro was arrested near River Road and the Trans-Canada Highway.

Santoro faces once charge of assault causing bodily harm for the July 2 incident.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 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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