Posted May 14, 2017 09:06:41
A woman who used capsicum spray on a Melbourne dancefloor forced the evacuation of the venue after patrons became overwhelmed by the gas, police say.
Officers were at the Perseverance Hotel on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, responding to reports of a minor assault just after 1:00am, when people started to complain they were struggling to breathe.
About 40 people had to be evacuated from the building, and paramedics treated about 10 people.
One woman was taken to hospital.
Senior Sergeant Steve Mills said he believed a woman discharged protection spray after being hassled by two men.
“Ultimately what we’ve determined is that a girl might have been approached and hassled a bit by a couple of blokes in the hotel and she’s used some sort of personal spray that she’s had,” he said.
“But we don’t know that for sure, neither the girl nor the two blokes who were apparently sprayed came forward.
“I’m assuming the girl who did it felt genuinely scared. It’s important to note that those sorts of things are illegal, although I sympathise with her for using it.”
Senior Sergeant Mills said the situation was unusual, but not unheard of.
“Anything where you feel like you can’t breathe or you’re struggling to breathe is always a bit scary,” he said.
“With older buildings with recirculation for air conditioning the moment something gets in there it goes through the whole place.
“That’s why we use OC [oleoresin capsicum] foam now, as opposed to OC spray, because it’s not a gas so it’s able to be used.”
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