Police officers assaulted, bear sprayed during arrest


On Thursday, June 17th, 2021, a front line officer, on patrol in the 3000-block of 27th Street of Vernon, located a man known to have several outstanding warrants for his arrest. Shortly before 6 p.m., the officer approached the individual and informed him he was under arrest. As the officer attempted to take control of the man, the suspect pulled away to physically resist the arrest. A woman, who was with the suspect, also assaulted the police officer while the male suspect discharged bear spray in the officer’s face. When a second police officer arrived on scene to assist, they were struck several times by the female suspect. A BC Sheriff and City of Vernon employee intervened to assist police with gaining control of the man and woman.

A physical confrontation with two assaultive individuals is an incredibly dangerous situation for any police officer to face, states Constable Chris Terleski, Media Relations Officer for the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP. The officer did an outstanding job managing the effects of the bear spray and both subjects, ultimately maintaining control of the situation until assistance arrived. Thankfully, neither of our officers sustained serious injuries during the assault and we want to extend our appreciation to the two individuals who came to the aid of our officers during this incident.

A 21-year old woman was released from custody and the 25-year old man, who remains in custody, face a number of potential criminal charges. Both individuals are from Vernon and known to police. The incident remains under investigation at this time.