After announcing earlier this week that there would be no charges for those involved with a Surrey incident in which a 13-year-old was made to kneel in front – and kiss the shoe – of another student before being kicked in the face, police appear to have done an about-face on the issue.
On Friday afternoon, Surrey RCMP announced they will be forwarding charges to the BC Prosecution Service in connection with the actions of a 15-year-old involved in the incident.
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On Friday, May 31, at approximately 11:30 am, the Surrey RCMP received a report of an assault that had occurred near a secondary school located in the 16000 block of 104 Avenue.
“Investigators learned that there was a physical confrontation between a group of teens over a personal conflict,” police said. “School staff quickly intervened and the suspects fled the area.”
Police said they believe that during the incident, “one individual dropped an imitation air-soft handgun as it was located by staff members in the bushes.”
Officers were called, attended to the scene, seized the air-soft handgun and began their investigation.
Then, on Monday, June 3, at approximately 11:30 am, a lone teen was approached by a group of teens on the same school grounds and allegedly threatened and assaulted in relation to the incident that occurred on Friday.
Police said this incident was not reported to them or to the school.
In fact, “both the Surrey School District and Surrey RCMP became aware of this incident the following day after being advised by a third-party of a social media post about the incident.”
After investigating both matters in collaboration with the Surrey School District, police said all parties involved have now been identified.
During the course of these investigations, a 15-year-old male was arrested and released on a Promise to Appear for a future court date for his alleged role in the May 31 and June 3 occurrences.
The decision to forward a Report to Crown Counsel to the BC Prosecution Service was made “after careful consideration and consultation with the affected parties,” police said.
Earlier this week, officials said that those identified in the investigation, “together, with their parents, have agreed to further deal with these matters by way of alternate measures under the Youth and Criminal Justice Act, through the Surrey School District Safe Schools programs and by the Surrey RCMP’s Restorative Justice and Youth Intervention programs.”
The Restorative Justice program “creates accountability of those involved in crime to repair the harm caused by their actions and to recognize the hurt it caused to an individual and community,” said RCMP Insp. Wendy Mehat.
The process, she said, “supports our youth by providing alternative measures to address their actions instead of the formal court process and criminal justice system.”
The Surrey School District said it has initiated disciplinary proceedings “which are not expected to conclude before the end of the school year.”
In the meantime, none of the students will return to Fraser Heights this school year and an alternative education program has been put in place for them.
“Our entire school community has been affected and is deeply concerned about the impact of this incident on our student,” said Fraser Heights Secondary principal Rick Breen. “The school has been working with the victim’s family to provide support for the teen going forward.”
Now, with reports being forwarded to the BC Prosecution Service and the matters still under investigation, police said they are unable to comment any further.
Still, they are requesting that anyone with information which may assist with this investigation to call Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502, or if they wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leave a tip online.