Port Alberni bear spraying suspect arrested in Coombs

Port Alberni bear spraying suspect arrested in Coombs

Nanaimo resident facing 16 criminal charges after “well coordinated” RCMP effort

A Nanaimo man has been arrested for bear spraying two Port Alberni RCMP officers earlier this week.

28-year-old Christopher Michael Yaskow, a Nanaimo resident, was arrested by the Oceanside RCMP in Coombs on the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 16.

The previous day, two Port Alberni RCMP officers had responded to a collision involving a truck stolen out of Nanaimo. When officers attempted to arrest Yaskow, they were bear sprayed and Yaskow was able to run away.

READ: Port Alberni RCMP officers bear sprayed by suspect

On Wednesday afternoon, Port Alberni RCMP received a report of a vehicle stolen from a residence in the 4900 block of Bruce Street. Extensive patrols—as well as a road block on The Hump—were unable to locate the vehicle.

However, the stolen vehicle was later located in Coombs by the Oceanside RCMP, and Yaskow was arrested and taken into custody without incident. There was a heavy police presence, including assistance from the Nanaimo Police Dog Service.

“This was a well coordinated team effort between the members of Port Alberni, Nanaimo and Oceanside RCMP that has lead to locating and the arrest of Mr. Yaskow without any further injury to anyone,” said Port Alberni RCMP Cpl. Amelia Hayden.

Yaskow is facing 16 criminal charges, including two counts of assaulting a peace officer with a weapon, as well as possession of stolen property and several counts of breach of probation. He is remanded in custody until January 23.