A pepper spraying incident has caused at least a partial closure of Valleyfair Mall in Maple Ridge, and there is a large police presence.
Maple Ridge News publisher Lisa Farquharson said she was in the London Drugs store at approximately 11:30 a.m., when staff calmly told customers to move to the back of the store. Staff closed the front doors of the store, for a matter of minutes, until the incident was over. Customers could leave through the back door.
Farquharson said the spray was intense, causing coughing and irritation in herself and other customers, even though she was not close to the source. The mall was evacuated, and the entrance near London Drugs closed with police tape.
A mall security guard was being treated by firefighters, and appeared to have been hit hard by the spray.
An eyewitness reported seeing one man being put into a police cruiser, and he appeared to be resisting.
An off-duty security guard said the man was apprehended by mall security.
“Ridge Meadows are investigating an incident where bear sprayed was deployed by a suspect in the mall in the area of 22700 block of Lougheed Highway,” said Cpl. Julie Klaussner in a statement.
“One suspect was arrested on scene and is in police custody. As this is an ongoing investigation there are no further details at this time.”
The mall has seen at least three other robbery attempts using pepper spray this year, and on Sept. 30 two suspects were caught in a botched robbery at the mall jewellery store.
More details as they become available.
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