Alleged thief assaults officer, service dog with bear spray

NANAIMO, B.C. – An RCMP officer and his police service dog were assaulted with bear spray by a suspected thief during an arrest on the evening of May 6. According to a news release from the RCMP’s Nanaimo detachment, three police officers received a report of a male shoplifter at the Woodgrove Centre that day, but the suspect had fled by the time they reached the mall. The officers located the suspect at about 7 p.m., shortly after he had broken into a nearby home, police said. The man discharged bear spray at the officers, hitting one of them and his service dog, but the officers managed to arrest and detain the suspect, who received minor injuries requiring stitches at a local hospital. All three officers were decontaminated after the assault and returned to work immediately, police said. The suspect – whose name could not be released publicly as of May 10, as charges had not yet been formally sworn by a provincial judge – has been charged with two counts of breach of probation and one each of assaulting an officer, possessing a weapon, possessing a controlled substance, theft and break and enter.

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