Vancouver police officer hit with bear spray mid-arrest

Officer had been trying to arrest a woman wanted province-wide

Vancouver police say a ‘combative’ woman assaulted an officer with bear spray on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019 on Granville Street. (Black Press Media file photo)

Vancouver police say a ‘combative’ woman assaulted an officer with bear spray on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019 on Granville Street. (Black Press Media file photo)

A Vancouver police officer was assaulted with bear spray on Friday while trying to arrest a woman wanted province-wide.

The acting sergeant saw the 36-year-old woman, who was wanted for theft under $5,000, on Granville Street near Davie in the downtown core just after 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 13.

The officer, also female, tried to arrest the woman, but she began to fight back, so she called for back-up.

That’s when the suspect sprayed her in the eyes with bear spray.

The acting sergeant managed to hold onto her until additional officers arrived.

READ MORE: Assault with pepper spray in Maple Ridge

Janine Renata Firth has been charged with using a weapon in assaulting a peace officer, resisting arrest and possession of a weapon.

“The use of bear spray – it is a common weapon in many parts of Vancouver,” said Vancouver police spokesperson Sgt. Aaron Roed. “Unfortunately, it’s something officers are having to deal with more and more.”

The officer was taken to hospital released later that evening.

READ MORE: Man charged for allegedly assaulting RCMP officer with bear mace



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

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