Niagara Falls man charged after assaulting 2 people with vacuum cleaner, barricading himself

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Published July 31, 2023 at 1:06 pm

Ontario, Niagara-on-the-Lake, police, collision, tree, male, dead

After injuring two people and then barricading himself in an apartment building on Sunday (July 30) evening, a Niagara Falls man eventually gave up peacefully after more than six hours of negotiations, police say.

Niagara Police rushed to the scene on Stamford St. after getting an assault with a weapon call at 9:35 pm. The weapon turned out to be an unusual one – a vacuum cleaner.

When they arrived, they found two victims – a 55-year-old man from Thorold, and a 47-year-old woman from Brampton – who received minor injuries, neither needing a trip to the hospital.

After an initial argument, the Thorold man was reportedly pushed to the ground. Police allege the suspect broke the glass front door with a vacuum cleaner, causing $500 worth of damage. When the Brampton woman, also the property manager, tried to stop him, she was hit by the vacuum cleaner.

When the police pulled up, he barricaded himself in the building, refusing to come out and began smashing things inside the building, causing another $3,500 in damages.

Stamford St. was closed while the police negotiated with the suspect but he didn’t surrender until just after 4 a.m. on July 24 – a more than six-hour stand-off.

Charles Bitton, 31, of Niagara Falls, has been charged with assault, assault with a weapon, and two counts of mischief under $5,000.

He was held in custody for a video bail hearing at the courthouse in St. Catharines today (July 31).

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the investigating officers by calling 905-688-4111, option 3, extension 1022200.

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