Manitoba RCMP are investigating a massive house party in East St. Paul over the weekend that they say led to at least one assault and significant damage to the home and police vehicles.
In a media release Monday afternoon, police described a scene of general mayhem greeting officers responding to numerous calls about a party at a home on Saddleridge Lane around 10 p.m. Saturday.
They say officers were swarmed by a group of roughly 70 intoxicated young people, a number of whom proceeded to climb on top of two RCMP vehicles, jumping on the roofs and kicking in the front windshield of one.
Video of the scene posted to social media appears to show a large group of people standing around an RCMP SUV with its lights on, while three people jump on its roof before one stomps out the windshield.
Some party-goers also hurled racial slurs at visible minority officers, spit on police, and launched fireworks at police and their vehicles, RCMP said.
“What occurred on Saturday and what our officers faced is unacceptable,” said Supt. John Duff, East District Commander, Manitoba RCMP.
“Be assured that we are reviewing video and audio captured by our police vehicles as well as the videos posted to social media.
“We will hold people accountable for their actions.”
Police estimate there were several hundred people in attendance at the party. Back up was called in from RCMP detachments in neighbouring communities, and general patrol officers from Winnipeg came to help as well, along with the canine unit.
RCMP say “excessive drug use” and “a severe level of intoxication” was apparent to officers among many of the partiers.
They say officers stopped an attempted sexual assault when they saw a young woman they describe as intoxicated being dragged into a bush by two young men.
They say the two suspects fled while the young woman was taken to hospital with serious injuries.
“Some of the youth at this party were in vulnerable states and clearly in danger, yet many in attendance were preventing our officers from doing their jobs. We are very concerned that there may be more victims of crime that night,” said Staff Sgt. Kyle McFadyen of the Selkirk RCMP.
“We are asking anyone who may be a victim or who may have been a witness to a crime to contact us immediately.”
‘They were being wild’
It’s a night that’s left neighbours rattled.
Josh Bochinski, 24, was at his nearby home with his siblings when he saw what he describes as high-school aged kids start gathering at the party.
He said he locked his doors.
“I was shocked, I’ve never seen this many kids down one street before,” he said Monday.
Neighbour Monica Bulacso had friends and family over celebrating a birthday Saturday when her guests started telling her they were seeing a lot of teenagers in the front street around 9 p.m.
She said from what she’s heard the get-together had originally been planned as a Halloween party.
“They invited friends to come over, and then the friends invited friends,” she said Monday.
“So there (was) a lot, I don’t know how many, hundreds, probably hundreds of them.”
Bulacso said her own guests couldn’t leave because of the mayhem unfolding on the street by shortly after 11 p.m.
She said they watched as teens ran from police and some partiers started jumping on the police vehicles.
“They were being wild,” she said.
“We were scared because we don’t know, what if those kids come here, inside the house.”
Police say no officers were injured during the incident.
McFadyen told Global News police arrested several youth Saturday night, but he couldn’t say whether any charges have been laid yet.
Police say the damage to the police vehicles and the home is significant, although an estimate on those damages wasn’t immediately available.
The owner of the home was out of the province at the time of the party, police say, and is cooperating with the investigation.
Anyone with information and anyone who may have been a victim of a crime during the party is asked to call investigators at 204-482-1222 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
–With files from Rosanna Hempel