Manitoba

Officers attacked with bear spray during 'extensive and lengthy' chase: Winnipeg police

Winnipeg police have arrested a 23-year-old man wanted in connection with a sexual assault — but the arrest wasn't easy, police say, with several officers being attacked with bear spray during what was described as "an extensive and lengthy foot pursuit."

23-year-old, previously wanted in connection with sexual assault, faces 13 new charges

A 23-year-old man faces 13 charges, including three counts of assault with a weapon and three counts of assaulting a peace officer, after trying to evade police on Saturday. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

Winnipeg police have arrested a 23-year-old man wanted in connection with a sexual assault — but the arrest wasn't easy, police say, with several officers being attacked with bear spray during what was described as "an extensive and lengthy foot pursuit."

At 9:30 p.m. Saturday, a foot patrol unit spotted a man near Bell MTS Place who was wanted for aggravated sexual assault in connection with a violent incident earlier this month, the Winnipeg Police Service said in a Tuesday media release.

But when the officers approached him, he ran away and a chase ensued, police said.

During the pursuit, the man used bear spray on several officers. Officers tried using a Taser to bring the man down, but it didn't work.

The man headed west toward the Spence neighbourhood, where the police helicopter started tracking him.

Eventually, he was stopped near Ellice Avenue and McMicken Street. The man refused to drop the bear spray and became aggressive with officers.

Police were able to arrest him, but two officers were injured, and police say several officers were contaminated with the man's blood and will need to take antibiotics.

A body search of the man produced a small of amount of a substance believed to be methamphetamine, police said.

The 23-year-old faces 13 charges, including three counts of assault with a weapon and three counts of assaulting a peace officer, along with weapons and drug charges.

Police also said that during the incident, an officer's ammunition magazine was damaged and several rounds were lost in the 400 block of Sargent Avenue.

Most rounds were recovered, police said, but some are still missing. They are asking the public to contact them if they come across the missing ammunition.