Suspect bitten by police dog after break-in attempt

An early morning break-in attempt resulted in the suspect needing treatment for dog bites after he bear-sprayed an off-duty constable.

Plans started to go sideways for the 34-year-old Nanaimo man at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday when an off-duty Mountie spotted him peering into the windows of Sports Barbers on East Wellington Road.

When the suspect broke into the business, the constable reported the incident and, with other police on their way, tried to stop the suspect as he came out of the barbershop with three framed, signed hockey jerseys, which he was about to load into his pickup truck.

When the off-duty constable stepped in to prevent the man from taking off, a struggle broke out and the suspect bear-sprayed him in the face.

"The member tried to stop him from leaving in the truck, a struggle ensued and the guy pulled out some bear spray and hit him in the face, so he was incapacitated," said Const. Gary O'Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

With other police arriving on scene, the suspect sped off in his older model pickup with police in pursuit, heading westbound in the eastbound lanes of Mostar Road before the pickup jumped the centre divider.

The vehicle chase ended on Jingle Pot Road where police found the truck and stolen items abandoned.

A police dog services team was called in and tracked the suspect to some a wooded area near some farmland about 0.75 kilometres away from the pickup shorty after 6 a.m.

"He was still resisting and trying to get away," O'Brien said. "The dog was used to control him and he was taken into custody."

The suspect was also found in possession of a small amount of crystal methamphetamine and faces recommended charges of breaking and entering, assault with a weapon, flight from a police officer, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and possession of stolen property.

An appearance in Nanaimo provincial court to have charges to have charges sworn against him is being scheduled.

"Our members are on duty 24-seven," O'Brien said. "They have an obligation, like anybody else when they see a crime, to report it. Our member actually went that next step, tried to intervene and put himself in harm's way."

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