Questions surround man's death after altercation inside B.C. Starbucks

Questions surround man's death after altercation inside B.C. Starbucks
From CTV - August 11, 2017

VANCOUVER -- About a month ago, a young man died after an altercation inside a Metro Vancouver Starbucks that a witness says left him unconscious and bleeding profusely on the floor.

It was a shocking incident inside a popular coffee shop, but the public only heard about it from media reports for the first time this week. Police did not issue any statements about the tragedy and no charges have been laid.

A civil rights group is raising questions about why police kept the man's death under wraps. And while media reports have portrayed the encounter as having broken out over a tossed cigarette butt, a witness who explained what he saw adds more details to the story.

Michael Page-Vincelli has been identified in media reports as the man who died. An obituary for the 22-year-old describes the "extreme sorrow" felt by his family, and thanks the nurses and staff at a New Westminster hospital for their "loving care."

A woman who answered the phone at the family home declined comment, but Page-Vincelli's mother, Steffany Page, wrote a post honouring her son on Facebook.

"We love you Michael, always and forever," she wrote.

The incident took place on July 12 inside a Starbucks in Burnaby, B.C. Michael Zimeras, 73, was sitting outside when he saw a young man emerge from the coffee shop. The man lit a cigarette and began to pace back and forth, yanking his T-shirt up and down, mumbling and cursing about the government and not being allowed to smoke inside, said Zimeras.

"He was looking very agitated," he said.

Some time later, the young man approached a woman who was sitting in a parked car outside a nearby bank, said Zimeras, and began yelling that he did not want to see her anymore. She tossed a cigarette onto the ground and the young man picked it up and threw it at her through an open window, Zimeras said.

At that point, the young man left and went back to the Starbucks, and another man emerged from the bank, said Zimeras. He said the woman told the man what had happened and the man said, "Let's go and get him."

The man went into the Starbucks while the woman stood outside holding the door, said Zimeras. After about a minute, the man emerged and said, "Let's get ... out of here," before they drove away.


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