A discarded face mask is shown on the floor of a foodcourt in a shopping mall in Montreal, Saturday, July 18, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (Photo: The Canadian Press/Graham Hughes)

A gas station attendant in East Vancouver was attacked days before Christmas after asking a customer to mask up, according to police.

Authorities said the victim was working at a gas station near Hasting Street and Victoria Drive on the morning of Dec. 23 when a man entered without a face covering – a violation of B.C.'s mandatory mask order.

When the employee asked the man to put on a mask, he "became upset and allegedly deployed bear spray" before fleeing the scene, according to a post on the Vancouver Crime Stories blog.

"Initial police patrols in the area did not locate the man, but when officers were responding to a break-and-enter in progress nearby, the suspect description matched with the suspect in the bear-spraying," it reads.

Police arrested a suspect and have recommended prosecutors charge him with one count of assault with a weapon.

The man has since been released from custody on conditions.