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UPDATE: Bear mace affects dozens at Ponoka Stampede midway

Ponoka RCMP responded to bear mace incidents
The midway after dark on June 30. (Janaia Hutzal/For Ponoka News)

On June 30 at around 10:30 pm., Ponoka RCMP responded to a complaint that a fight had broken out at the Ponoka Stampede Grounds, in which six people had been sprayed with bear mace, according to media relations officer Cpl. Troy Savinkoff.

The incident occurred 150 yards west of the ferris wheel at the midway. For safety reasons, EMS who responded to the scene were on standby until police arrived.

A separate file refers to an individual spraying bear mace on a ride, resulting in dozens of people being affected by the cross contamination. Savinkoff said based on the time frame, the two incidents are likely related.

No arrests have been made at this time, although Savinkoff noted the RCMP were dealing with an influx of activity at the time.

Ponoka RCMP detachment commander Staff Sgt. Chris Smiley said one young offender was charged with possession of bear mace and threatening people with it on the grounds.

“The amount of kids crying and parents running trying to cover their kids’ faces was horrible,” posted Facebook user Jennifer Wigston on a Ponoka community page. “The scramble to get rides stopped and kids off before it got to them was sad.”

Emily Jaycox

About the Author: Emily Jaycox

I’m Emily Jaycox, the editor of Ponoka News and the Bashaw Star. I’ve lived in Ponoka since 2015 and have over seven years of experience working as a journalist in central Alberta communities.
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