World Police and Fire Games athlete hit with bear spray while intervening in attack: Winnipeg police

Winnipeg Police say a participant in the World Police and Fire Games was attacked with bear spray as he attempted to intervene during a fight at a fast food restaurant on Saturday.

This comes as the event has dealt with vandalism on its marathon course and a disturbance outside of the athlete’s village of the games, which started Friday.

According to police, the participant, a man in his 50s, flagged down a police car in the 100 block of Goulet Street at approximately 7 a.m. on Saturday. According to police, two women were involved in an altercation and the athlete tried to intervene. One of the women sprayed the other with bear spray, and the athlete was hit in the face with the spray. The suspect ran from the scene, and the female victim also ran before being identified or getting help.

The athlete was treated by paramedics at the scene. Officers found the suspect in the 100 block of Marion Street. A 25-year-old woman is now facing charges of assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon. She was released by police on an undertaking.

The bear-spray incident was among three incidents that police responded to and are investigating since the games started.

On Sunday, police responded to a protest at the Athlete’s Village in The Forks, with approximately 100 protesters involved.

“The group attempted to push through the front gate and the surrounding barricades as they chanted derogatory phrases at police. They yelled at the athletes, many from abroad, to go home and made reference to search a local landfill for two murdered Indigenous women,” police said in a news release. “The protesters crowded the entrance and lay on the ground, making it difficult for athletes to navigate in and out of the venue.”

Police said red paint was used to place handprints on the gate and fence, and a brick was thrown at a parked cruiser car, smashing the windshield. The incident was de-escalated and the crowd dissipated approximately two hours later. No injuries were reported.

Grand Chief Cathy Merrick said protestors were there to advocate for a search of the Prairie Green Landfill for the remains of Marcedes Myran and Morgan Harris “We’re here for a peaceful protest to be able to educate our visitors from all around the world as to what’s happening in friendly Manitoba,” she said.

“We have our own women in our landfill, so the best thing our province can do regardless of which leadership is going to be there is search those landfills for our loved ones.”

The protestors said they were disheartened to see provincial and city funds used to host the World Police and Fire Games while they are calling for help to search the landfill.

Police are also investigating graffiti that appeared on the half-marathon route at the World Police and Fire Games that starts in St. Vital Park.

Phrases including “ACAB” and “No More Cops” were seen on the trail, and police said more than 65 phrases were painted on the road, walking paths and portable bathroom stalls. The graffiti was observed on July 30, and is believed to have been painted overnight.

No arrests have been made and the Major Crimes Unit is investigating.

-With files from CTV’s Kayla Rosen.

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