People in Prince George are reacting to the vicious assaults of two young people earlier this week which left two youths badly beaten — one still in serious condition from a brutal sexual assault.
On Monday night, a male youth was found lying unconscious and beaten in a snow bank behind an apartment block on the 1600 block of Juniper Street.
Police say it appears he had been lured to a nearby apartment building by a group of suspects, whose ages range from 15 to 20. There he was physically and sexually assaulted and a second male youth was also physically assaulted, police said.
The six accused have been arrested and are in custody. They are facing charges of aggravated assault, sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm, and unlawful confinement. Some appeared in court Friday, while the others will have their first appearance next week.
While some in the neighborhood were shocked by the reported attacks, others say violence is too common in certain city neighborhoods.
Amanda Prince, the coordinator of Hadih House, an inner-city drop-in centre in the neighborhood where the attack occurred, says she was not surprised by the attack.
"Not shocking. It's not. There're lots of assaults, but nobody reports it though," she told CBC News.
Chris Rossetti, who volunteers at Hadih House, also wasn't surprised by the assault, and points to a lack of resources for youth.
"This is a great place for them to come, but it's only open until 4:30, so at nighttime there's no place for young people to go hang out in town. There's a lack of support for young people, or just people in general."
Rossetti says assaults are common in his neighbourhood, but not this horrific.
"Yes I was really upset, because it happened in my community and close to home, and I have young children, and it's, nothing like this should happen to people."