Police in the Comox Valley say two suspects are now in custody after they bear sprayed an RCMP officer.

On Sunday (June 6th), an off-duty officer with the Comox Valley RCMP was inside a Courtenay liquor store when he saw two men leave the store without paying.

He then identified himself as a police officer and told the pair to stop, before following them out of the store.

According to police, they disregarded the officer’s instructions. One of them pulled out what appeared to be bear spray, and then sprayed the officer in the face.

“Despite feeling the effects of the bear spray, the member continued in the direction of these males until one of them stopped and was placed under arrest. Frontline members attended the area and arrested the second suspect,” Insp. Mike Kurvers says.

“The commitment to the safety of our community by this member is indisputable. Despite being on his time off, those police instincts kicked in and the crime in progress was halted.”

Kurvers says the officer is “doing well” and “will be back at it for his next shift.” He notes both suspects were held in police custody pending a court appearance.