Charges dropped against bear spray suspect

All charges have been dropped against a Nanaimo man accused of bear-spraying several people during an attempted robbery.

All charges have been dropped against a Nanaimo man accused of bear-spraying several people during an attempted robbery.

Randon Lloyd Broostrom, 26, appeared in Nanaimo provincial court Thursday to face six counts of assault with a weapon and one count of robbery, but all charges against him were dropped.

The charges stemmed from an incident at Country Club Centre shopping mall Oct. 3 when a man wearing a mask over his face bear-sprayed the B.C. Lottery booth clerk and tried to open the booth’s safe. When he failed to get the safe open, the suspect fled and bear-sprayed several more people who tried to stop him from getting away.

The suspect escaped after jumping into a Toyota van.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said the charges were dropped after Crown counsel decided the evidence presented did not meet its standard because witnesses, some of whom were bear-sprayed, had difficulty positively identifying the suspect.

“It was rather difficult for a number of the witnesses, given the fact that they only saw him quickly and his face was partially covered and disguised,” O’Brien said.

Nanaimo RCMP are still pursuing the investigation into the incident.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.