Pepper spray incident at ValleyFair Mall in Maple Ridge

Police are on the scene of a pepper spraying incident at ValleyFair Mall. (Lisa Farquharson/The News)Police are on the scene of a pepper spraying incident at ValleyFair Mall. (Lisa Farquharson/The News)
Victims treated by firefighters after being pepper sprayed. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)Victims treated by firefighters after being pepper sprayed. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)
Victims treater by firefighters after being pepper sprayed. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)Victims treater by firefighters after being pepper sprayed. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)
Police walk through ValleyFair Mall after a pepper spray incident. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)Police walk through ValleyFair Mall after a pepper spray incident. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)
Police arrive on scene at ValleyFair Mall after a pepper spray incident. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)Police arrive on scene at ValleyFair Mall after a pepper spray incident. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)
Victims treated by firefighters after being pepper sprayed. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)Victims treated by firefighters after being pepper sprayed. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)
Police arrive on scene at ValleyFair Mall after a pepper spray incident. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)Police arrive on scene at ValleyFair Mall after a pepper spray incident. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)
Victims treated by firefighters after being pepper sprayed. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)Victims treated by firefighters after being pepper sprayed. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)
Police and firefighters arrive on scene at ValleyFair Mall after a pepper spray incident. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)Police and firefighters arrive on scene at ValleyFair Mall after a pepper spray incident. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

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.

READ ALSO: Suspects caught in jewelry store robbery attempt in Maple Ridge

READ ALSO: 22-year-olds charged with dealership robbery that set off Lower Mainland car chase


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