Shelter pepper sprayed

UPDATE 2:40 p.m.

The Penticton RCMP says the man responsible for deploying bear spray inside Penticton’s downtown homeless shelter has turned himself in, but no charges will be laid.

Const. James Grandy says the man responsible for the incident called 911 to turn himself in. When he was located and arrested, the man explained he “ he was trying to defend himself from unknown individuals.”

Six people inside the shelter were affected by residual bear spray, but no one was directly sprayed.

Because no direct victim was identified, the man was released from custody.

ORIGINAL 11:15 a.m.

The Compass House homeless shelter downtown Penticton was evacuated Thursday morning after the inside of the building was pepper sprayed.

Emergency crews were called to the shelter at 123 Nanaimo shortly after 10:45 a.m.

Shelter manager Roger Evans said a handful of staff and residents were affected by the pepper or bear spray and required eye wash.

When Castanet arrived on scene the Penticton Fire Department were setting up large fans to air out the building. The smell of pepper spray was noticeable from outside the building and firefighters entering used respirators.

Evans said no one was injured in the incident. Police are searching for an identified suspect that fled after the spraying.

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