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RCMP change course, recommend criminal charges in Surrey school assault

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WATCH: Surrey RCMP have changed course and are now recommending charges against at least one teen involved in a pair of alleged assaults at a Surrey high school. Rumina Daya explains – Jun 7, 2019

At least one student involved in the alleged assault of a teen at a Surrey high school this week may be charged after all.

Surrey RCMP said Friday it has forwarded charges to the B.C. Prosecution Service for assessment in connection with two assaults on the grounds of Fraser Heights Secondary, dating back to May 31.

That incident saw a physical confrontation between a group of students over “a personal conflict.” A pellet gun was found in the bushes, which one of the teens is believed to have dropped.

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But it was a connected incident on Monday in which a teen was surrounded by a group of students and kicked in the face that drew the attention of investigators, after video of the assault began circulating on social media.

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Police have determined that assault was in retaliation to the incident on May 31.

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A 15-year-old boy was arrested in connection with both alleged assaults, Surrey RCMP said Friday, and was released with a promise to appear in court on a future date.

RCMP would not say whether that same teen is the one awaiting charges, or if charges are being recommended against any other students involved in the incidents.

The B.C. Prosecution Service would not comment on the matter Friday.

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The announcement is a reversal of the force’s comments on the case Wednesday, when police said all parties involved in both incidents had agreed to “alternate measures,” including restorative justice.

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The father of the victim of Monday’s attack said then he was not satisfied that restorative justice measures would replace potential criminal charges.

The victim’s father cannot be named because of privacy rules under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, now that a youth has been arrested and “dealt with.”

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On Friday, the father said he doesn’t feel he and his family were properly informed by the lead RCMP investigator in the case about the ramifications of the restorative justice process.

“I never made any deal or agreement to stop the pursuit of justice for our son or give up our rights to participate in the judicial process,” he said.

“I feel like we were misled, and I was not made to understand the [restorative justice] program accordingly before we entered into it.”
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Surrey RCMP would not comment on why they had changed course from restorative justice, only saying in a statement the decision to pursue criminal charges was made “after careful consideration and consultation with the affected parties.”

The father said he also doesn’t know how many students are potentially facing charges, and is hopeful he and his family will be kept informed as the case moves forward.

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The students alleged to be involved in the assaults are also not returning to Fraser Heights for the remainder of the school year.

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Surrey RCMP said Friday it was also investigating alleged threats against the victim and his family, which the father told Global News Wednesday were keeping him up at night.

The father would not comment on whether his son will testify in any future court case.

—With files from Rumina Daya