Calgary police officers pepper-sprayed before taking down knife-wielding man in southeast

Calgary police officers pepper-sprayed before taking down knife-wielding man in southeast

Two officers were pepper-sprayed in the face and threatened with a knife during an arrest in a stolen vehicle incident, say Calgary police.

The incident began

Wednesday around 2 a.m., according to police, when two patrol officers tried to stop a vehicle on Penbrooke Drive S.E. The vehicle fled and the officers did not give chase. 

A short while later the vehicle was found abandoned in Fonda Court S.E. and was confirmed stolen. Following footsteps in the snow, police said they found a woman, identified as 18-year-old Brittany Anne Manning, and took her into custody.

"The male driver continued to flee from police on foot. Officers confronted the man in the area of 36th Street and Memorial Drive E. He pulled an object out and one officer deployed his [conducted electrical weapon (CEW), also known as a stun gun] with negative results," said police in a news release. 

"The man then pepper-sprayed both officers directly in their faces. One of the officers deployed a CEW for a second time, again with no effect on the man who then pepper-sprayed officers a second time."

Pulled a large knife from his pants

Police said the officers continued to chase the man, "fighting through the debilitating effects of the pepper spray." The suspect then pulled a large knife from his pants, threatened the officers and told the officers to shoot him.

That's when one of the officers again fired his stun gun, which finally incapacitated the man. 

"Once the effect of the CEW wore off, the man continued to resist arrest, but was ultimately taken into custody without further injury to the officers involved," said the release. "The officers were treated by EMS at the scene."

Deadly force rules

With a number of police shootings over the past year, District 4 Insp. Kelly Campbell said nothing has changed in the force's training when it comes to dangerous situations and whether or not an officer should use deadly force. 

"We still tell our officers that what is presented to you, you have to make those decisions," she said.

"We can't say, if this happens, you will do this."

Two support officers were on scene to help the initial responders by the time the knife was drawn, said Campbell, and were prepared to open fire if necessary.

"If that individual had advanced, we did have that lethal opportunity option to pursue," she said.

Campbell said it's becoming more common to see pepper spray and bear spray in Calgary.

36 outstanding warrants

After the dust settled, police said they found a baton, a backpack full of mail from 50 different people and a small amount of marijuana on Manning. 

She's charged with one count of possession of marijuana.

Police also arrested 22-year-old Erik Richard Couronee on 36 outstanding warrants. He has been charged with a litany of offences, including two counts of assaulting a peace officer with a weapon, two counts of resisting arrest, as well as charges related to the theft of a vehicle and its operation.

Police said the vehicle was stolen from Mayland Heights on March 3 "as a result of the keys being left inside the vehicle overnight."

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