Lethbridge police officers in Alberta demonstrating the use of beanbag rounds out of a shotgun. Screenshot from Canadian Press video.

Lethbridge police officers in Alberta demonstrating the use of beanbag rounds out of a shotgun. Screenshot from Canadian Press video.

Suspected car thief bean-bagged by Abbotsford police for resisting arrest

‘It doesn’t break the skin usually, but it hurts so much you might as well be shot’

A suspected car thief was shot with a beanbag round by Abbotsford police for resisting arrest after a brief chase.

The 35-year-old man had allegedly stolen a Ford F-150 from Tims Street between the night of Jan. 15 and the morning of Jan. 16, according to Sgt. Judy Bird, media officer for Abbotsford Police Department.

The stolen vehicle was located in the area of Busby Road and Hillside Street around 3:30 a.m. on the morning of Jan. 17.

Bird says a plainclothes officer, which the department uses to prevent suspects from fleeing at the sight of law enforcement, tried to the stop the vehicle when the suspect entered it.

“[He] takes off after making contact with the unmarked police car, resulting in a minor motor vehicle incident,” Bird said. “But no one was injured.”

Abbotsford police were able to locate the vehicle shortly after. A K9 unit observed a man in dark clothing leaving the area by bicycle and carrying a large snowboard bag. The dog tracked the scent of the suspect from the bed of the truck and followed the bike tracks until the he was found, according to Bird.

“After brief foot pursuit with officers, he continued to fight, so we deployed non-lethal beanbag,” Bird said. “It doesn’t break the skin usually, but it hurts so much you might as well be shot. That’s my understanding.”

Beanbag rounds are a special type of shell fired out of a shotgun. The shell consists of a small fabric pillow filled with lead shot weighing around 40 grams. It can travel up to 90 metres per second.

The man was arrested for possession of stolen property, flight from police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and assault on a police officer. He was taken to the hospital but cleared – likely with quite the bruise.

Below is a video of Lethbridge police officers in Alberta demonstrating the use of beanbag rounds out of a shotgun.

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