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

Suspect was attempting to steal a T.V. from Walmart in South Quesnel on Friday evening

UPDATE:

A 23-year-old man has been arrested after allegedly assaulting two off-duty officers with bear spray and stealing a television from Walmart in South Quesnel.

Aaron Stone Smart was arrested Saturday Aug. 25 after the Friday incident.

Charges of Robbery and Assaulting a Peace Officer with a Weapon have been recommended from the Aug. 24 incident. Smart was also arrested on several other outstanding warrants, says an RCMP news release.

Staff Sergeant Andrew Burton, detachment commander, credits the quick arrest to the dedication of the investigating officers from the Quesnel RCMP.

“Our off-duty officers reacted quickly and selflessly in their attempt to stop the robbery as it occurred, but were hampered by the violence of the suspect. Their on-duty colleagues were quick to follow up with the investigation and make the arrest,” he said.

Smart is in custody pending a court appearance today (Aug. 28) in Quesnel Provincial Court.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Two off-duty Quesnel RCMP officers were bear sprayed by a robbery suspect outside Walmart in South Quesnel on Friday evening.

According to an RCMP press release, the officers were shopping inside the store 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 dropped the television, 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. RCMP believe he may have had an accomplice waiting for him in a vehicle nearby.

Luckily, neither officer sustained any lasting injury.

Police ask anyone with information about the man involved in this incident to call the Quesnel Detachment at 250-992-9211 or BC Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

READ MORE: Quesnel crime rate almost four times national average in 2017


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