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Saint John police continue to seek public’s assistance in Sunday afternoon chemical irritant assault


Police in Saint John, N.B., have dealt with two incidents related to a chemical irritant assault this week, but the force doesn’t believe it is the start of a new trend in the city

The Saint John Police Force is continuing their investigation into an incident Sunday where a pair of individuals were transported to hospital after being sprayed with a chemical irritant.

Police continue to ask members of the public to pass along any video or information related to the weekend incident on Thorne Avenue, where a pair of individuals had been assaulted with an unknown chemical irritant at an encampment site early Sunday afternoon.

Just two days later, police arrested a pair of youth (a 15 and 16-year-old) in an unrelated case after a 19-year-old was contaminated with a chemical irritant around Westmorland Road.

The force does not believe the two cases are connected at this time.

While he hopes no one else suffers from similar incidents within the community, acting staff sergeant with the Saint John Police Force, Matthew Weir, has some advice.

“The best thing to do if you come in contact with this and it’s on your skin or in your eyes, quite often a cool breeze will help soothe the effects of it as well as flushing your eyes with cold water,” says Weir. “Certainly if there is more adverse effects contact for medial assistance and get checked out.”

He does not believe the pair of chemical irritant incidents are the sign of a new trend within the city, despite two incidents happening in three days.

He also adds the force will continue to refer to these instances as chemical irritant assaults, rather then specify what the irritant was in most cases.

“In order to say with any level of certainty exactly what it is we would have to take a sample of it and send it away for testing,” notes Weir.

“I suspect that what was used in this case was likely intended for animals given the symptoms that are present by the individuals involved so determining exactly what was used and the manner it was used.”

He says anyone who is threatened by someone with a chemical irritant should contact police.

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