Suspect bear sprays Good Samaritan

Incident happens St. Patrick’s Day on Highway 6 near Lumby

An act of kindness turned into an assault with bear spray near Lumby.

Just before 6 p.m. on Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day, Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP received a report of a man who had allegedly been assaulted with bear spray after he stopped to check on a vehicle that was in the ditch in the 4000 block of Highway 6 in the village.

“The 35-year-old man found in distress was clearly suffering from the effects of bear spray,” said RCMP spokesperson Const. Kelly Brett.

The victim told police he stopped on the roadside to check on a lone male driver standing near a yellow cube van, as he suspected the the man’s vehicle had broken down.

After speaking with the suspect, the victim was sprayed and the man took off in the victim’s silver Dodge pickup.

“It is unfortunate that a simple act of kindness is turned into a violent act for this particular victim who stopped to check on a fellow motorist,” said Brett. “Although this incident may not have been targeted, this is not a common occurrence here in the North Okanagan.”

The victim suffered minor injuries and was treated by BC Ambulance Service.

Witness reports suggest another vehicle and suspects may have been involved in this incident and police are actively investigating the matter.

The silver Dodge pickup was later located near Highway 6 and School Road in Lavington.

The incident remains under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact the Lumby RCMP at 250-547-9044. Or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or leave a tip online at www.nokscrimestoppers.com.

You do not have to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers. If you provide information that leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

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