Elementary student allegedly uses pepper spray on another

3rd student exposed; no serious injuries reported

By John Branton, Columbian Staff Reporter

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A student on an Evergreen Public Schools bus allegedly assaulted another with pepper spray about 4:20 p.m. Tuesday.

The problem was noticed when the bus was parked in front of home in the 900 block of Southeast 152nd Ave. in Cascade Park.

A number of students were on board, said district spokeswoman Carol Fenstermacher. She said one student may have been taken to a hospital for observation, but none was reported seriously injured.

A third student was exposed to the high-potency spray, which uses oleoresin capsicum to irritate an opponents' eyes, mouth and lungs. It's painful and can cause a suspect to give up a fight. The resin derives from capsaicin, the natural substance that makes various peppers taste hot.

It can be tricky to use, especially in gusty winds, and at least one officer has reported deploying it and being sprayed himself.

Once someone is sprayed, officers often call paramedics to rinse the person's eyes with water.

Fenstermacher said she didn't know whether Vancouver police have recovered the canister, but said Vancouver police were investigating.

The students who weren't sprayed were taken home, said Firefighter-spokesman Joe Spatz.

Spatz said it wasn't clear whether the spraying was intentional or accidental.

John Branton: 360-735-4513 or john.branton@columbian.com.