Drive-by pepper-spraying outside Winnipeg bar

Le Garage Cafe on Provencher Boulevard in Winnipeg. (DAVID LARKINS/Winnipeg Sun)

Le Garage Cafe on Provencher Boulevard in Winnipeg. (DAVID LARKINS/Winnipeg Sun)

David Larkins, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:11 PM ET

WINNIPEG -- A group of revellers got an unexpected -- and unwanted -- surprise outside a popular bar early Saturday morning.

Witnesses say a gathering of people outside Le Garage were victims of a drive-by pepper spray attack around 1 a.m., leaving about a dozen people gasping for breath or suffering injuries from skin contact.

Luke Thiessen said he was performing a gig there and was standing outside between sets when a car slowly pulled up. Thiessen said a passenger rolled down the car window and had a towel over his mouth as he sprayed a substance out the window at the people outside. Thiessen said it was "a long spray that kind of wafted toward people."

"Some people were hit directly and had skin contact," he said, "and the rest of us maybe inhaled a little bit before quickly running inside."

Jordan Cruise was one of the worst hit. He was at the bar playing in the band Suitcase Shoes and said the contact with his skin felt like "resting my arms on a stove top." He said he turned around and a cloud was wafting his way.

"I honestly had no clue until my face started to hurt," he said. "And then it was pretty clear what it was."

He estimated the pain didn't subside until around 5 a.m.

"As the car was leaving I still didn't really know what it was," Cruise said.

Cruise said they did not file a police report because the group's first inclination was to just make sure everyone was treated.

"We just didn't even really think of it," he said.

Cruise said another woman suffered more serious injuries but he was told she was doing better Saturday.

david.larkins@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @LarkinsWSun


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