UPDATED: Abbotsford videographer bear-sprayed near homeless camp

Kevin MacDonald, who freelances for the Abbotsford News, was attacked Wednesday morning on Gladys Avenue

Videographer Kevin MacDonald is treated by paramedics after being bear-sprayed on Wednesday morning.

Videographer Kevin MacDonald is treated by paramedics after being bear-sprayed on Wednesday morning.

Abbotsford videographer Kevin MacDonald was filming footage of the homeless camp on Gladys Avenue on Wednesday morning when he was bear-sprayed by an angry woman.

MacDonald, who does freelance work, including for the Abbotsford News, had been hired by CTV News to film the site as part of their piece on the B.C. Supreme Court decision regarding overnight camping in parks.

MacDonald said he had situated himself near the Mennonite Central Committee building, across from the camp, at about 11:30 a.m. and was filming without any issues for several minutes.

He had already interviewed one of the camp occupants for comments about the decision and was continuing to work when a woman, carrying a can of bear spray, came walking angrily towards him.

MacDonald kept filming, and the footage shows her yelling and cursing at him, saying he should ask for permission before “taking pictures” of people.

“It’s against the law to take our picture …” she yells.

MacDonald said as the woman came towards him, he “lightly pushed” her away with his hand, and she then released the bear spray on him.

He can be heard screaming and cursing in the video.

“I’ve never felt pain like that before in my life … It feels like your entire face is on fire,” MacDonald said later.

He said he was thankful for the passersby who came to his aid, including a woman who called 911 because he couldn’t see to dial his phone and another who gave him her bottle of water so he could flush his eyes.

Paramedics treated MacDonald on the scene, and the woman, Christina Violet Bentley, 39, was arrested and has been charged with assault with a weapon.

MacDonald said he was disappointed by the woman’s behaviour.

“This was supposed to be a positive story,” he said of the ruling that, in part, sided with the homeless in permitting them to sleep overnight in parks in Abbotsford.

MacDonald said he has donated cash and water to the homeless camp before, but will no longer do so.

“They need to go … They want respect, but they won’t respect anyone else,” he said.

Just a few minutes prior to MacDonald’s attack, Abbotsford News reporter Laura Rodgers was approached by the same woman as Rodgers was taking photos for a newspaper article on the court decision. The woman threatened to break Rodgers’ camera and to bear-spray her, but Rodgers quickly departed before any assault occurred.

Police say Bentley could face further charges in relation to that incident.

 

 

 

Just Posted

Justin Bond’s Bahrain 1 took a team around a year to construct. It gets its name because the Sheik of Bahrain is a major sponsor of the team. / Photo courtesy of Justin Bond.
Mission dragracer wins Atlanta race, ousts back-to-back world champion

Justin Bond goes quarter-mile in 5.738-seconds, beating champ Stevie ‘Fast’ Jackson on home turf

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Jamie and Erin O’Neill, who are renting a 107-year-old house at 45837 Knight Rd., are wanting to save it from the wrecking ball and move it when it comes time for the owners of the house to build a new house on the property. They are pictured here outside the home on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack couple wants to save 107-year-old home from demolition, asking for community support

O’Neills have less than year to find new property, raise funds to move Knight Road house

Archway Community Services is among local agencies receiving one-time grants through the Civil Forfeiture Crime Prevention and Remediation grant program. (Photo courtesy of Archway)
Nine Abbotsford projects receive $345K in civil forfeiture grants

Funds awarded to projects aimed at prevention of crime and domestic violence

Karl Eha showing off a fishing rod that was originally made in 1972. Patrick Penner photo.
Mission’s Eha Sports offering store credit for old fishing gear, plans to donate to poor Latin American children

Karl Eha recalls time as hungry kid in post-war Germany, says fishing kept him full

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found dead in Surrey following a wellness check

IIO says officers ‘reportedly spoke to a man at the home before departing’

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Surrey RCMP in the 4900-block of 148th Street, a short road just off of King George Boulevard, on May 15, 2021 after a male was allegedly assaulted with a “pipe-like” weapon that morning. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey RCMP investigating after person reportedly injured with ‘pipe-like’ weapon

Police investigating incident in the 4900-block of 148th Street

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read