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Brawl in St. Paul: 5 officers hit with bear pepper spray, 21 arrested

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At least five St. Paul police officers and Metro Transit officers were sprayed in the face and chest with bear pepper spray after responding to a street brawl in St. Paul's Payne-Phalen area, according to a police report.

Police were responding to a report of more than 50 youths blocking a road and fighting in the intersection of Rose Avenue and Greenbrier Street at 7:12 p.m. last night.

The St. Paul and Metro Transit officers, part of a crime prevention team, arrived at the scene on a Metro Mobility bus. As they unloaded, the crowd scattered on foot, and someone sprayed the officers in their chests and faces with bear pepper spray. Bear spray is similar to normal pepper spray, but it contains a lower concentration of the irritant.

Other officers were able to detain and arrest 21 people, 18 of them juveniles some as young as 12, according to the Pioneer Press. Officers also obtained a cell phone video of the incident which led to the identification and arrest of several people in the area. All positively identified and arrested individuals in the immediate area were booked with third degree riot.

Medics assisted the officers hit with the spray in washing out their eyes. No other injuries were reported.

See the full police report here.

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