A father who was seriously injured after police say he stepped into a violent fight between his son and another Toronto-area high school student earlier this month has been charged along with four other teenagers after videos of the incident surfaced online.
York Regional Police said a student from Cardinal Carter Catholic High School in Aurora and a student from St. Theresa Lisieux Catholic High School in Richmond Hill gathered with a group of other teens near Briar Nine Park in Oak Ridges for a fight around 3 p.m. on Dec. 2.
During the fight, which can be seen in two videos shared on social media, police said a parent of one of the students got into an argument with another student that escalated to the point where the teenager was assaulted.
The first video posted on social media appears to show two students punching each other repeatedly when a man can be seen walking up to where they were fighting. The video then appears to show a man striking a student in the background.
Police said a group of teenagers then assaulted the father, who was seriously injured in the incident.
The second video appears to show a man with blood on his face and shirt standing by a car, when one of the individuals can be heard asking the man about allegedly punching someone.
“Because I thought they were jumping in on him. What would you do if it was your kid?” the man can be heard asking.
Someone then appears to be seen pushing the man, before he was punched by a different person. Multiple people become involved in the fight and the man is then seen being kicked in the back and the head, before staggering to his feet, getting up and opening the car door.
Const. Andy Pattenden said Tuesday several of the suspects involved in the incident had been identified and charged, but the students cannot be identified under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
A 15-year-old, two 16-year-olds and an 18-year-old, all boys, were each charged with one count of assault causing bodily harm. The 52-year-old father, of King Township, has also not been identified by police and was charged with one count of assault.
Pattenden said he could not comment on the extent of the father’s injuries, only saying that they were serious, but added at least one of the students sustained minor injuries as well.
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“I doubt he’s recovered fully from the injuries yet, he will I believe, but has yet to,” Const. Andy Pattenden said, adding that police believed there were additional videos of the incident.
“We’re still seeking more video. Our investigators believe that there’s some more videos that haven’t been brought to them yet. So anyone who still has a video of this incident that hasn’t brought it to police yet, that’s what we’re looking for.”
The York Catholic District School Board issued a statement earlier this month that said it was taking the incident “very seriously” and the safety of students is the board’s priority.
School resource officers have visited both high schools and police said they will continue to be available to students or staff wish to speak with them.
The investigation is ongoing and police are asking witnesses or anyone with information on what took place leading up to the fight to contact investigators at 1-866-876-5423, ext.7241 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
With files from Nick Westoll