A 15-year girl is facing an assault charge in relation to an incident involving bear spray at a memorial round dance event in a community center in north central Regina on Wednesday evening.
The Regina Police Service confirmed in a news release that units were dispatched to a building located in the 1000 block of Angus Street around 9:20 pm after receiving a report that someone discharged bear spray in the lobby. When police and EMS arrived at the scene they discovered dozens of people coughing, gagging, and crying outside of the building following the attack.
Security footage showed the girl discharging bear spray into a crowd of people, and subsequently leaving the building. Police were able to identify the suspect after witness interviews and investigation. The suspect, a 15-year-old girl, who cannot be named due to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is facing charges of assault with a weapon and a breach of conditions.
What symptoms do victims of bear spray attacks experience?
Bear spray is a type of pepper spray that is used to deter aggressive bears. When sprayed on a person, it can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including intense burning and stinging of the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract, as well as coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath. The effects of the bear spray are typically temporary, lasting for about 20-30 minutes, but can be more severe in some individuals. In some cases, exposure to bear spray can also cause temporary blindness, panic, and disorientation.
Can a bear spray assault be fatal?
In rare cases, excessive exposure to bear spray or an allergic reaction to its active ingredients could cause serious health complications, including respiratory distress, which can be life-threatening.
Similar Stories of Bear Spray Attacks in Saskatchewan
Unfortunately, bear spray attacks aren’t a new phenomenon. On August 13, 2022, the Saskatoon Police Service arrested a man in connection to a bear spray incident at the ex. The Cornwall Centre was evacuated after a bear spray attack in December 2021. There are also multiple incidents of Regina police officers being assaulted with bear spray. On one occasion a police dog was sprayed, on another occasion, a youth pointed bear spray at an officer, and on the third, a police officer had been assaulted.
Bear spray incidents have risen in Manitoba, so much so that Manitoba’s justice minister wants the Criminal Code to be changed for bear spray.
Criminal Charges Relating to Assault with Bear Spray
Individuals who assault others with chemical irritants (including bear spray, mace, pepper spray, and tear gas) can be charged with a variety of criminal offences, depending on the circumstances of the incident. Some common offences that may be charged in cases of bear spray assaults include:
Assault: Assault is a criminal offence in Canada that involves intentionally applying force to another person without their consent. The use of bear spray can be considered an act of assault if it is used in a manner that causes physical harm or fear of harm to another person.
Assault with a weapon: Assault with a weapon is a more serious offence that involves the use of a weapon during an assault. Bear spray can be considered a weapon if it is used to threaten or cause physical harm to another person.
Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose: Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose is a criminal offence in Canada that involves carrying a weapon with the intention of using it for an unlawful purpose. Bear spray can be considered a weapon for a dangerous purpose if it is carried with the intention of using it to threaten or harm another person.
The specific charges and penalties for bear spray assaults will depend on the circumstances of the incident and the laws of the jurisdiction in which the offence occurred. Penalties for these offences can include fines, imprisonment, and a criminal record. It is best to consult a lawyer who will defend your rights.