Police converge at the Dufferin Crescent and Boundary Avenue intersection in Nanaimo early Tuesday morning after a man allegedly left a taxi without paying fare and then bear-sprayed the taxi driver. (Photo submitted)

Police converge at the Dufferin Crescent and Boundary Avenue intersection in Nanaimo early Tuesday morning after a man allegedly left a taxi without paying fare and then bear-sprayed the taxi driver. (Photo submitted)

Man arrested for allegedly bear-spraying taxi driver in Nanaimo

RCMP set up containment area and tracked suspect with police dog

Nanaimo Mounties have a man in custody who will be facing a charge of assault with a weapon after a taxi driver was bear-sprayed.

The incident happened early Tuesday, March 30, after a passenger left a cab without paying and was followed by the taxi driver. Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said the passenger was picked up at Fifth Street and Bruce Avenue at about 4 a.m. and driven to a residence on Bowen Road.

“The male started to walk away and the taxi driver followed on foot. They had conversation where the taxi driver was threatened and at one point he was hit with bear spray in the face,” O’Brien said, adding that the suspect then fled the area.

Police were called and contained the area and also responded with a police dog services team to follow the suspect’s track.

The 33-year-old suspect was later arrested at a residence on the 2000 block of Forest Drive and has been released to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo at future date.

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