Man arrested after allegedly spitting on dollar store employee in dispute over business hours

Passerby backs up RCMP member dealing with combative suspect Sunday

The Nanaimo RCMP hopes to identify a man who helped an officer during arrest of a suspect who spit on a store employee.

The gratitude stems from an incident Sunday morning when police responded to a report that a man had spit on an employee at the Dollarama store in Port Place Shopping Centre.

According to police, the employee told officers the suspect became enraged when he was told access to the store was reserved at the time for seniors in response to COVID-19 health measures. The suspect spat on the employee and left.

He was spotted not long afterward, sitting on a bus bench on Estevan Road. When the officer approached the suspect he became combative, so the officer called for backup, but before other members arrived a man driving by saw what was happening, got out of his vehicle and stood nearby until more officers arrived.

“While he did not directly intervene, the simple gesture of him standing with the officer had a settling effect on the combative male. This allowed for the incident to be resolved safety and for the suspect to be taken into police custody,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in a press release.

Investigators would like to not only thank the passerby for his actions, but also have him provide a witness account of the incident. Anyone knows who knows who this person might be is asked to have him contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2020-14389.

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