Children bear sprayed during violent parking dispute in Nanaimo

Children bear sprayed during violent parking dispute in Nanaimo
Nicholas Pescod
An ambulance is pictured on Vancouver Island in this file photo.

A violent parking dispute resulted in a man and his children being bear sprayed in Nanaimo earlier this week.

The heated exchange occurred around 12:45 p.m. on Monday, in the parking lot of Walmart at Woodgrove Centre.

Mounties say the incident kicked off after a family, including a husband, wife and their four children, were trying to find a parking spot for their truck and large boat that they were towing.

“While maneuvering into a stall, they were cut off by a man driving a dark-coloured SUV that resembled a Hummer,” said RCMP in a release Wednesday.

Both drivers exited their vehicles and got into an argument. Soon after, the man driving the SUV pulled out a can of bear spray and sprayed the other driver, causing some of the spray to also impact his children, whose ages range from one to six years old.

The driver who was sprayed then grabbed a tire iron and smashed a window out of the SUV, before the SUV driver got back into his car and drove away.

Police say the father and his children were treated by paramedics at the scene but did not need further medical treatment.

Meanwhile, the driver of the SUV was last seen heading south on Highway 19A.

“This was a situation where if cooler heads had prevailed, this dispute could have been resolved without resorting to this level of violence,” said Reserve Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

The driver of the SUV is described as a white man in his 60s with grey hair. He was wearing a green shirt at the time, and no licence plate for his vehicle was recorded.

Anyone with information on the incident, or who may know the identity of the SUV driver, is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

SEE ALSO: Nanaimo chiropractor says he wanted to identify teens before bear spray attack

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