Quesnel’s provincial government building. Melanie Law photo

Bear spray, Walmart robbery suspect to go to trial in August

Aaron Stone Smart will also be in court in July 2019 on an unrelated charge of robbery

Aaron Stone Smart, who was arrested on Aug. 25 and charged in relation to a Walmart robbery, will go to trial on Aug. 21, 2019, almost a year after his initial arrest.

Smart allegedly stole a television from the South Quesnel store on Aug. 24 and bear sprayed two off-duty RCMP officers who attempted to apprehend him.

He fled, and the next day was arrested and charged with with assaulting a peace officer with a weapon, possessing a weapon for dangerous purpose, and robbery.

Smart was subsequently denied bail at an Aug. 28 hearing and remains in custody, according to B.C. Court Services Online.

READ MORE: Robbery suspect arrested after spraying off-duty RCMP officers with bear spray

He will also go to trial in July for a separate charge of robbery, which is dated four days before the Walmart robbery.

On Aug. 24, two off-duty officers were shopping at Walmart when they heard an employee yelling at a man who had stolen a television and then threatened staff with bear spray.

Both officers chased the suspect through the parking lot towards Highway 97.

One officer caught up to the suspect and identified himself as a police officer in an attempt to arrest him.

The suspect pulled out a canister of bear spray and sprayed the first officer directly in the face at close range.

The second officer was also hit with the spray.

Police set up containment in the area and called for the Police Dog Service to attend from Prince George. Unfortunately, the suspect fled on foot from the scene and was not captured.

On Aug. 25, however, Smart was arrested after investigation by the RCMP. He was also arrested on outstanding warrants.



heather.norman@quesnelobserver.com

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