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UPDATED: 3-year-old pepper sprayed, officer nearly run over after road rage incident

A nasty case of road rage led to the pepper spraying of a three-year-old boy, an officer nearly being run over and a car speeding through residential yards — hitting fences, shrubs and trees — according to an RCMP release. At 8:15 p.m.

A nasty case of road rage led to the pepper spraying of a three-year-old boy, an officer nearly being run over and a car speeding through residential yards — hitting fences, shrubs and trees — according to an RCMP release. 

At 8:15 p.m. last night, numerous residents of the Mathews Park area called 911 to report a man and woman being assaulted on 90th Street.

According to Fort St. John RCMP, the incident began when one driver took exception to another for following too closely. Words were exchanged, and this led to one man pepper spraying the child, man and woman. During the altercation, the alleged pepper sprayer was joined by a group of people who aided in the assault.

Witnesses told police that six or seven perpetrators, including one woman, had assaulted the victims.

The suspects fled the area in two vehicles.

Four or five left in a maroon-coloured car, according to the release. 

At about 8:35 p.m., a police officer spotted the other suspected vehicle in the neighbourhood and attempted a roadside stop. When the officer approached the vehicle, the driver sped away.

The vehicle returned to the Mathews Park area and drove towards a police officer who was investigating the incident — nearly hitting him — then through residential yards. It fled the area a second time.

The officer was not hit by the vehicle. 

Police found the vehicle parked outside Winks Convenience Store across from North Peace Secondary School. The 20-year-old male driver was arrested inside the store.

Police are recommending charges of assault, assault with a weapon, flight from police, assaulting a police officer with a weapon and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle. He is set to appear before a judge Thursday.

“I have heard of road rage leading to physical assaults before, but never to this extent,” said Fort St. John RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie. “People who get frustrated with other drivers’ actions should mentally and physically remove themselves from the incident before the situation gets out of hand.”

Police have identified and are attempting to locate the 18-year-old female involved in the assault, but the other men have not been identified.  

The maroon-coloured car has not been located.

Police are asking anyone with knowledge of the incident to contact Fort St. John RCMP at 250-787-8100 or to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-242-8477 (TIPS).