Bear spray used in two separate weekend melees

Penticton police say unrelated fights ended with bystanders using the irritant

RCMP attended a pair of unrelated fights that ended with bear spray being deployed by the combatants occurred on the evening of Canada Day.

“We had one fight down by the Peach on Okanagan Beach and someone sprayed bear spray.

Subsequently that person was arrested and released with charges of assault with a weapon,” said Sgt. Rick Dellebuur.

“There also was another fight that evening between two people near the Starbucks downtown on Main Street where bear spray was used as well.”

Charges have yet to be laid in the second incident.

“We don’t normally see people packing bear spray, it is quite unusual for two incidents like this to happen in one night,” said Dellebuur.

RCMP had an eventful Canada Day with about 40 files, Dellebuur said in comparison over the weekend they averaged 20 to 25 files.

“There was some mischief and drunks but mostly people behaved themselves,” said Dellebuur.

“The weekend was busy with lots of people around but the officers said the fireworks were a lot busier with the amount of people in the downtown core.”

Dellebuur said bike patrols have been utilized by officers on the weekends, specifically on Friday and Saturday evenings depending on the call volumes RCMP are responding to.

“We don’t have a designated bike patrol as we have in the past because we don’t have the extra resources, both human and money.”