A Winnipeg nightclub owner says he’s still recovering after a stranger allegedly attacked him and others with a powerful spray meant to deter bears. Police are now investigating.
Brian Koshul, who owns the lounge and nightclub Upstairs in the Village, told CTV News Winnipeg he became involved as he was helping a customer to her vehicle Sunday morning at around 1:30 a.m.
He said he saw a scuffle break out on the street, involving one person attacking a crowd with what appeared to be bear spray. Koshul told the person to stop but said he soon found himself being targeted.
Video of the alleged attack posted online, someone in a grey hooded sweatshirt aggressively uses a white canister to spray several people on the street.
“The eyes, can't breathe, the skin, all contact from the bear spray is quite the burn," Koshul told CTV News Winnipeg.
Two days later, he said he’s still feeling the effects, despite using milk, shampoo and dish soap in an attempt to remove the substance.
"Some of the burn areas, especially in my ear cavity. I went to the hospital and they flushed it out, I still use calamine to have a good night's sleep,” he added.
Koshul said the person with the canister was part of a group that was turned away from his bar.
Although it is difficult to clearly identify the attacker in the short video clip, it’s not hard to hear the screams of victims and passersby.
On Monday, Winnipeg police said its major crimes unit was investigating the incident.
A representative from the Osborne Village Business Improvement Zone -- a local commerce-lobbying group made up of nearby local businesses -- said members would provide police with as much information as possible.
After speaking with members of the community, city councillor for the area Sherri Rollins said they’d all like to see more police foot patrols there.
Koshul agreed and said the beefed-up law enforcement presence could make a huge difference.
"It's safe to be in my bar -- guaranteed,” he said. “But it’s not always safe when you mix, alcohol and young kids at 2 a.m."