A local man is facing multiple charges after a report of a suspicious suspect wandering Canal Flats with bear spray and break-in tools.
Columbia Valley RCMP were called to a residential area around 9 PM on June 12th where the man was allegedly going through backyards.
While mounties were on their way, Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck says they learned a group of residents approached the suspect.
“He was confronted by some vigilant citizens and cornered and he went for something in his front pocket so they put him on the ground to protect themselves and to protect him.” explains Vatamaniuck. “Inadvertently he had sprayed himself with some [bear spray] he had in his pocket and he sprayed his groin with it.”
Police separated the group from the man who was unharmed by the residents who pinned him.
Vatamniuck says the residents did the right thing.
“In this circumstance I believe that they acted certainly within their rights to protect property and to protect themselves.” says Vatamaniuck. “There are caveats in the criminal code that allow you to protect yourself and your property with as much force as deemed necessary to facilitate that protection.”
Vatamaniuck says the man – who has a history in property crime – suffers from addiction and was going through withdrawal.
– Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck, Columbia Valley RCMP
– Devin Howard