As the search for rogue dentist Tung Sheng (David) Wu continues, court documents reveal the now-wanted man had major ties to the Tri-Cities.
According to affidavits filed by the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C., Wu had reportedly been providing dental treatment out of a home at 2546 Dahlia Crt. in Coquitlam.
This information came to light, according to court documents, after a private investigator working on behalf of the college was contacted by an unnamed person claiming their mother had received dental treatment at the home for some time, including extractions and dentures.
"The back door of the residence is being used as the entrance for the defendant's 'patients,'" the documents stated.
Residents living near the home in question said they noticed cars and people coming to and from the house on a regular basis for about four or five years, up until last year.
Esther, a nearby neighbour who did not want her last name published, told the Tri-Cities NOW it appeared Wu didn't want to be seen, noting trees were placed at the back of the home to keep people from looking in. She also noted her children were prevented from retrieving wayward balls from the backyard.
According to neighbours, a couple from Taiwan owns the home, but their children live there now.
Wu was living in the basement. A reporter from the Tri-Cities NOW knocked on the door of the home Wednesday afternoon, but no one answered.
Esther said she spoke with the homeowner's son on Wednesday, and that he's "freaked out" over all the attention the story and the home is getting.
She said in hindsight, she probably should have reported the dentist to authorities, but didn't want to cause a stir.
Felix Westfal lives a couple of doors down from the home, and originally thought the house was being used as a school, noting he would often see kids with books.
He said he was surprised to learn it was a dentist's office.
Westfal estimated more than half of the people coming to and from the home were young.
Though he never saw the now-infamous dentist living on his street, he suggested Wu should have defended his actions instead of taking off.
Westfal suggested that maybe some of Wu's clients couldn't afford to see a regular dentist.
The dentist's saga began last week after health officials sent out a warning to anyone who received dental treatment from Wu that they may have been exposed to serious viruses.
Fraser Health issued the alert on Aug. 7 regarding Wu, who they said has been performing dental procedures illegally in Burnaby, and before that, in Port Moody.
On Monday, a warrant for Wu was issued after he failed to appear in court and by Wednesday, investigators had tracked down a 2013 Acura RDX believed to belong to Wu at a shipping company in Richmond.
However, court documents show private investigators were tracking Wu's movements
up until this past weekend in Port Coquitlam.
In an affidavit filed by Michael Lantz, manager of investigations at Focus Solutions Group, the investigator believed Wu was planning to take off to Toronto.
During the course of surveillance on the afternoon of Aug. 8, the private investigator said he saw Wu driving along Lougheed Highway and Pinetree Way.
The next evening on Aug. 9, the Acura was spotted at 1281 Amazon Dr. in Port Coquitlam.
In the affidavit, the investigator said the home belonged to Catherine Wang, a person investigators believed to be associated with Wu.
That night two employees of Focus told Lantz the Acura was picked up by representatives of a company called J-Link Transportation.
A reporter from the Tri-Cities NOW knocked on the door of the home Wednesday evening, but no one answered.
Donna Clee lives a couple of doors down from the home on Amazon, and said the private investigator paid her a visit on Sunday.
She told the Tri-Cities NOW her husband remembered seeing the Acura parked out front of the home.
Clee said neither she, nor her husband, ever saw the dentist, but she pointed out a woman and a child had been living in the home for the past two years. She said she was surprised to learn the chase for the dentist had at one point moved to her neighbourhood.
Clee suggested officials should have clamped down on the dentist years ago, after he was first slapped with an order prohibiting him from being a dentist back in 2003.
But reaction to the story in the Asian community is ambivalent.
On the Chinese-Canadian information site Westca.com, the opinion on message boards is mixed, with some defending Wu.
Translated from Chinese for the Tri-Cities NOW, one reader wrote "Taiwan dentists are also dentists. Canada just set up high barriers for new immigrants so they have to pay tuition and exam in order to qualify their profession."
Another reader on the website posted: "Should the government also request those who have seen dentists overseas to have their blood tests done?" One person wrote: "Mr. Wu did not leave his patients behind, he is still trying to complete the care for his patients, nothing wrong with that. It was those patients who asked Mr. Wu to treat them and now they want to call the authority and complain? Should not have taken care of you! Where's your conscience?" But others were less sympathetic to Wu's patients.
"If you have guts, do not use public resources to have your blood test done. Pay for the tests from your own pocket. A bunch of misinformed people, it's hurting our public resources," someone wrote.
A spokesperson for SUCCESS in the Tri-Cities, an immigrant settlement group, said it had not received any complaints or queries about the dentist. The spokesperson also said the society wouldn't take the initiative to alert its clients, but if they do come across anyone with concerns, they would refer them to police.
On Thursday, the dental college announced a $2,000 reward for information that helps them located Wu.
Lisa King, Now / Illegal dentist Tung Sheng (David) Wu used this house, at 2546 Dahlia Crt. in Coquitlam, to work on patients, according to the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C.;
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