Edmonton, Alberta – A comprehensive EPS investigation has culminated in more than 460 charges being laid against 32 youths and two young adults in connection to an ongoing series of violent crimes that have occurred across the city dating back to early 2017.
The 34 accused males are believed to be responsible for a series of 90 crimes across the city, most of which occurred throughout the LRT corridor, at malls and in recreation centres between January 2017 and March 2018. The accused are aged between 13 and 18 years of age.
The accused are facing a wide range of charges including aggravated assault, assault, robbery, weapons offences, theft under $5,000, possession of stolen property, possession of stolen credit cards, use of/or trafficking in stolen credit cards, credit card fraud, shoplifting, mischief, possession of a controlled substance and breach of conditions.
“This has been an extensive, time-consuming investigation into criminal activities that have left a path of victimization across our city,” says Supt. Tom Pallas, of the EPS Southwest Division. “Officers have responded to close to 90 criminal events involving 66 complainants, some of whom are now dealing with very serious internal and facial injuries.”
In April 2017, a 16-year-old boy was walking home from school when he was allegedly attacked by a group of six youths in northeast Edmonton, during a failed personal robbery. The teen was taken to hospital with serious injuries and underwent surgery.
Most recently, a 46-year-old woman sustained serious internal injuries after being kicked down a flight of stairs at the Belvedere LRT station during a random assault by one of the youths at approximately 2 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. Surveillance video released by EPS today shows the accused male sliding down a bannister and fleeing the scene after the random assault, while a young male bystander tends to the woman lying on the stairs with multiple injuries.
The accused male has since been arrested and charged with aggravated assault.
“A variety of members throughout our organization have worked extensively with community partners, prosecutors, schools and parents, and will continue to work together to ensure they are held to account for their actions,” says Supt. Pallas.
“We want the public to know that police and its partners, including Edmonton Transit, are taking action to support public safety across the city. Many of these individuals have been arrested, gone through the court system and rearrested by our officers, after being released on bail – in some cases – within hours.”
Investigators believe 12 of the 34 individuals accused were prolific offenders with respect to this series and were involved in a majority of the incidents.
The accused also “swarmed” victims in approximately one-third of their crimes, using social media to create “flash mobs” of youths to disorient and distract their victims. In one such incident, dozens of youth joined several of the accused in a swarming of two teen males on March 7, 2018, at approximately 4 p.m., at the Century Park LRT station.
Video surveillance shows a flash mob of youth rushing the two teen male complainants, before retreating. The complainants were then allegedly beaten off camera by two members of the same group of youths, sending a 14-year-old complainant to hospital for stitches to his skull.
Two accused teen males have since been charged with assault, as a result of the Century Park incident.
The 32 accused males cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, as they are all under the age of 18. The remaining two accused adult males were not 18 at the time they committed their alleged offences, and therefore they also cannot be named under the YCJA.
Edmonton Police Service
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