Date: Friday, November 4, 2022
Victoria, BC – Officers are investigating after a woman was pepper-sprayed in Centennial Square on Wednesday evening.
Just after 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2nd Patrol officers responded to a report that a woman had been pepper-sprayed in Centennial Square. Officers arrived on scene to find bystanders attempting to decontaminate the woman who was screaming for help. B.C. Emergency Health Services paramedics arrived and took over medical care. The woman was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Officers learned that the woman had been approached by a man and a woman, who demanded money, and then assaulted her with pepper-spray. Officers identified the man and arrested him later that evening. He was released with conditions and a future court date. Officers continue to search for the second suspect.
Our investigation indicates that this was a targeted attack.
If you have information about this incident and have not yet spoken with officers, please call the VicPD Report Desk at (250) 995-7654 extension 1. To report what you know anonymously, please call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Why was this person released?
Bill C-75, which came into effect nationally in 2019, legislated a “principle of restraint” that requires police to release an accused person at the earliest possible opportunity after considering certain factors which include the likelihood the accused will attend court, the imminence of the risk posed to public safety, and the impact on confidence in the criminal justice system. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides that every person has the right to liberty and the presumption of innocence pre-trial. Police are also asked to consider the circumstances of Indigenous or vulnerable persons in the process, in order to address the disproportionate impacts that the criminal justice system has on these populations.
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