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Queen West head shop owner charged in pepper spray incident

The owner of a Queen Street West head shop faces several charges after he allegedly released pepper spray, forcing the evacuation of the building where his store and a dance studio are located.

The incident happened at 489 Queen St. W., just east of Spadina, on Wednesday night. Police claim the 32-year-old owner of Earth and Fire released pepper spray in a common hallway and staircase in the building and then took off.

About 40 or 50 customers and employees of a dance studio on the third floor had to get out of the building.

“A number of these customers and staff members were treated for their injuries at the scene,” police said in a statement.

Adam Chaplin was arrested at his home a short time later and charged with:

•    administering noxious thing
•    deposit offensive volatile substance
•    common nuisance
•    mischief interfere with property
•    weapons dangerous
•    possession of a prohibited weapon
•    possession of weapon contrary to prohibition order

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at (416) 808-1400 or Crime Stoppers at (416) 222-TIPS.