Police say bear spray is an illegal weapon, not a form of protection, when fired at a human rather than at a bear.
A Souris man will appear in Georgetown Provincial Court on Feb. 28 to answer to a charge of assault with a weapon.
The 33-year-old Souris man apparently took a can of bear spray to a fight on Jan. 2 at the Main Street Mall in Souris.
The individual who was sprayed did not require medical attention.
RCMP Sgt. Andrew Blackadar says bear spray is intended for repelling bears or other animals.
He says the spray can be purchased legally on P.E.I. if its intended use is to repel bears.
Of course, the person must be planning to hunt or hike off-Island since there are no bears in this province.
“If bear spray is used for anything other than its intended purpose, it is then classified as a weapon under the Criminal Code and charges of assault with a weapon or possession of a prohibited weapon can be laid,’’ said Blackadar.
“You can have it legally and even in your car if you have other hunting gear and are heading off hunting (during the season) to an area frequented by bears....otherwise, it is possession of a prohibited weapon.’’
Blackadar says the bear spray incident in Souris earlier this month is the first one police have dealt with in P.E.I. in a few years.