Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane man accused of bear macing neighbor who was taking out trash

A Spokane man is accused of spraying his neighbor with a can of bear mace Wednesday night while the victim was taking out the trash.

Court documents say the victim told police he was walking to the dumpster outside his apartment building on East Boone Avenue when Jesse W. Black, 32, sprayed him in the face around 10:30 p.m. He told investigators he was keeping his head down “to avoid a confrontation with the defendant,” but made eye contact with Black, who then sprayed him in the face for no apparent reason.

Black’s sister told police the victim “snuck” up behind her and startled her, causing her to run inside, court documents say. She ran inside and told her brother the victim was “being weird,” leading Black to come outside and mace him.

Officers who responded determined Black did not act in self-defense and was not able to articulate a reason he felt threatened.

“Neither of them said he made any aggressive gestures or anything like that,” police spokeswoman Officer Teresa Fuller said.

Bear mace is not frequently used during assaults in Spokane, Fuller said.

“We have probably one a year or so,” she said.

A few people who use mace per year are found to have acted in legitimate self-defense, Fuller said.

Black has been charged with third-degree assault and will appear in court Thursday afternoon.