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Pepper spray incident clears out Nanaimo coffee shop

RCMP look for suspect after ‘unwanted, needless, senseless act of mischief’
Staff and patrons wait outside a Starbucks in Nanaimo that was evacuated after someone discharged pepper spray in a washroom on Monday, Feb. 6. (Mandy Moraes/News Bulletin)

RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue responded to a hazardous materials call after pepper spray was released inside a Starbucks coffee shop earlier this week.

The incident happened Monday, Feb. 6, at about 6:30 p.m. in one of the bathrooms at the Starbucks in the University Village shopping centre in Nanaimo’s Harewood neighbourhood.

“[RCMP] members attended and noted the residual smell of pepper spray and spoke with baristas. It may have been one of three youths who were seen hanging around the area,” said reserve Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson.

Allegedly one of the three youths had entered the washroom, released the spray and then left the premises, which had to be evacuated.

“Nobody had to be treated for the lingering effects of pepper spray,” O’Brien said. “It was disturbing to the business, however, and it was an unwanted, needless, senseless act of mischief.”

Anyone who has information about this incident is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP detachment non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2023-4294.

READ ALSO: 12-year-old turns himself in after bear-spraying incident in Nanaimo

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Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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