A rash of bear spray incidents in Regina this past fall don’t seem to be continuing into this year.
Last October, Regina police warned the public about people being attacked with bear spray.
Tamara Langlois certainly didn’t think it would happen to her.
On Nov. 30, 2015, she was walking out of the Landmark Shoppers Drug Mart on Albert Street South with her 10-year-old daughter when both were sprayed directly in the eye.
“It was that quick. I didn’t even see him there. It was like he sprayed it into the air just as we came out,” she explained. “I had no idea what it was. I didn’t know if there was something in the air. Obviously my first instinct wasn’t that someone had sprayed something in the air to harm us.”
Her 14-year-old son was waiting in the car and described a man in his early 20s assaulting people as they walked out of shops before running and disappearing in between cars.
“He would stand in front of the door, would see someone leaving the till, he would walk in front, spray it, go right behind this vehicle and then just watch.”
Such an assault isn’t new. In 2013, 51 incidents were reported to police. That spiked to 89 in 2014, dropping to 59 in 2015.
One third of those reported last year were in the months of September and October.
Most are recorded as a robbery or assault with a weapon and about one third of the total number of incidents in the past three years lead to charges being laid.
Langlois and her daughter were treated in hospital and had their eyes flushed. While suffering no long-term effects she describes the incidents as “terrifying”.