Bicycle theft turns into pepper spray assault, civilian chase: Guelph police

A man has been arrested after a number of reported incidents in Guelph involving a bicycle theft, a stolen vehicle, a pepper spray assault, and a civilian chase

Officials say the situation started around 11 a.m. on Tuesday in the east end of Guelph.

A man was reportedly in a stolen Toyota 4Runner trying to steal a bicycle off a front lawn.

The owner of the bicycle tried to intervene and was then hit with a pepper spray-like substance before the suspect fled in the vehicle, according to police.

Police received a report on Tuesday afternoon about a man, who appeared to be impaired, backing a 4Runner intoa light post and driving away from the location.

An officer was trying to stop the vehicle when the suspect drove through a stop sign and hit another vehicle, according to officials.

Police say there was a mother and two small children inside the vehicle. They were taken to hospital, treated for minor injuries, and released later that day.

The suspect then reportedly went on to hit two parked cars on Cork Street and two other cars with people in them. Those inside the second of the two cars suffered minor injuries.

At this point, police say the suspect fled on foot, was being chased by civilians, tried to pepper spray his pursuers, but was still caught.

"A very scary incident for downtown," said Scott Tracey with Guelph police. "It's obviously a busy part of the city at that time of day, especially at that time of day, and on Tuesday with the vigil shaping up at times, certainly very glad it was brought to a quick resolution without any further injuries or damage."

The 32-year-old man is facing a number of charges for drug possession, driving under the influence, bicycle robbery, assault with a weapon, administering a noxious substance, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, flight from police, possession of stolen property over $5,000, and failing to stop.

Police said he was held for a bail hearing on Wednesday.

In a news release on Wednesday, police said the 4Runner was reported stolen from outside of Guelph on May 27.

Officials said they found $450 worth of purple fentanyl during a body search following the man's arrest. They added they believe he was under the influence of controlled substance and was taken to Guelph General Hospital for a blood sample.