‘Perfume’ turns out to be bear spray; 10 people in Salmon Arm thrift store affected

Paramedics determined a man in his 70s tested an aerosol spray can displayed on a shelf, believing it to be fragrance.

A can of bear spray

A can of bear spray

On Tuesday July 5, the Salmon Arm RCMP and B.C. Ambulance Service attended the Churches of Salmon Arm Thrift Shop on Beatty Ave. NW in response to a report of an accidental bear spray discharge.

Emergency services determined a man in his 70s tested an aerosol spray can displayed on a shelf, believing it to be a container of spray fragrance.

The man did not know the contents of the container because it’s label was concealed.

The contents of the can temporarily affected 10 employees and patrons.

On police arrival, the man who had discharged the container immediately identified himself and was cooperative with police. Officers confirmed that the man did not intend to harm anyone.

The thrift store staff advised police the can of bear repellent was not supposed to be on store shelves and said that they would take internal action to determine how it got past their screening process for donated goods.

The RCMP’s investigation concluded this was an unfortunate incident with no  criminal intent and so no charges would be laid.