RCMP change course, recommend criminal charges in Surrey school assault
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.
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.
Police have determined that assault was in retaliation to the incident on May 31.
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.
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.
The father of the victim of Monday’s attack, Paul Pedersen, said then he was not satisfied that restorative justice measures would replace potential criminal charges.
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 Surrey School District has also said it has launched disciplinary proceedings that are not expected to wrap up before the end of the school year on June 28.
The students alleged to be involved in the assaults are also not returning to Fraser Heights for the remainder of the school year.
Surrey RCMP said Friday it was also investigating alleged threats against Pedersen and his son, which Pedersen told Global News Wednesday were keeping him up at night.
Global News has reached out to Pedersen for reaction to the recommendation of charges.
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