Winnipeg officers endure the effects of bear spray from a teenage suspect who assaulted an elderly man in order to successfully arrest him.
On March 20, 2023, at approximately 6:30 p.m., the Winnipeg Police Service responded to the 300 block of Portage Avenue for the report of an adult male who had been assaulted and robbed.
Members of the Auxiliary Cadet Unit were flagged down and spoke to the 60-year-old male victim suffering from the effects of a noxious substance believed to be bear spray. Cadet members voiced the suspect's description to attending Central District General Patrol officers, who located the male in the 300 block of Ellice Avenue.
During the ensuing foot pursuit, the suspect discharged bear spray at officers; however, they were able to safely place him under arrest after a Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) was deployed. The victim was assessed on the scene by Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service members, and the officers were not injured.
It was learned the victim was walking in the rear of the 300 block of Portage Avenue when he was approached by the suspect, who requested a cigarette. In an unprovoked manner, the suspect assaulted the victim and stole a cellular phone from his person. In the ensuing struggle, the victim recovered his property; however, the suspect produced and deployed bear spray in his direction and fled on foot before police arrived.
The suspect and victim were not previously known to one another.
An 18-year-old male from Winnipeg is facing the following charges:
- Assault Peace Officer with a Weapon
- Possession of a Weapon
He was released on an Undertaking as mandated by the Criminal Code.