Two teens have been arrested after allegedly attacking a group of people, including an elder, with a can of bear spray in Fort Chipewyan.
RCMP members were approached by “several” individuals during the early morning hours of Aug. 17 who said they had been hit with the eye-tearing deterrent substance. Police began an immediate investigation.
It could not be confirmed exactly how many individuals approached police at this time, said Cst. Natasha Lytwenko, media relations for Wood Buffalo RCMP.
As a result of the investigation, two male youths, both of Fort Chipewyan, were arrested and charged for breaking and entering into a residence. They were also arrested for assault with a weapon.
That weapon was bear spray, Lytwenko said.
“Some members came upon people covering their faces and when police asked what was going on, they said they’d heard a noise at their house when two teens had kicked in the door,” Sgt. Al Boulianne with the Fort Chipewyan detachment told The Journal. “When the house residents approached the door to investigate, one of the youth bear sprayed them and the spray also hit a 90 year-old elder. It was a chaotic scene for a bit.”
One of the suspects was arrested on scene and the other a short time later, he said.
As of last week, one of the youths remains in custody. The other has been released to his parents with conditions.
Both are scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 5., Boulianne said.
Those suffering from the potent spray were treated on scene by paramedics. No serious injuries were sustained, police reported.
Second break and enter within week’s time
A break and enter was also reported at Chief’s Corner store on Aug. 10 in Fort Chipewyan.
Police said a rock was thrown through a window and $1,800 worth of cigarettes was stolen.
After a search warrant was executed at a private residence on Aug. 19, three male youths were arrested and charged with theft as well as break and enter. A portion of the stolen property was recovered.
One of the youth remains in custody while the others have been released to their parents with conditions.
All are to appear in court at a later date.
Members of the public who have more information on either of these two incidents are asked to contact Wood Buffalo RCMP at 1-780-788-4000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 to remain anonymous.