A man was arrested after getting angry because Nanaimo RCMP would not return a shovel he had allegedly been swinging around. (File photo)

Man arrested after objecting to Nanaimo RCMP confiscating shovel he had been swinging around

Police say it was in the public interest not to return the tool to allegedly impaired suspect

A man spent a night in jail after he beat a garbage can with a shovel, then tried to rip the licence plate off of a police car when an officer took away the shovel.

The situation unfolded in the late afternoon Wednesday, April 7, when police received a report of a man, allegedly drug impaired, swinging a shovel around near Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

“He took his anger out on a garbage can and a pole,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “So, after significant patrols, some members located him in the washroom of a local bistro.”

Police transported the man downtown where officers released him, but also informed him they would not be returning his shovel.

“Once he was told he would no longer be getting his shovel back, because it was in the public interest, he became extremely agitated and argumentative and started kicking the patrol car and tried to rip the licence plate off,” O’Brien said.

The suspect fled but was arrested a short time later downtown. He was lodged in a cell overnight and was released the following morning.

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