EMSB students suspended after videotaped attack on teen in Rivière-des-Prairies
WARNING: Video contains graphic content
The English Montreal School Board has suspended four of its students indefinitely after a teenager was attacked off school property in a Rivière-des-Prairies park.
The assault of the Grade Nine student at Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North was captured on cellphone video.
"The student was checked out, he has some bruises but fortunately — and miraculously, for anyone who saw the video — he is okay and he'll be fine," said EMSB spokesperson Michael Cohen. "Shaken up, obviously, by the situation."
A copy of the video given to the CBC is less than a minute long. It begins with a group of four talking to the victim when one of them suddenly punches him in the head.
The victim falls to the ground, at which point he is repeatedly kicked by the group of four. As he covers his face, he is then punched in the head and jumped on by one student.
Several students can be seen in the video, watching the attack. A couple of them urge the group to stop the beating, and some turn away when the victim is kicked, but no one intervenes.
"Okay, guys — stop! It's enough," one witness yells, toward the end of the video.
The group of four eventually backs off, leaving the victim alone on the ground.
Police investigation underway
The video was brought to the board's attention on Wednesday morning. All four attackers have since been identified as EMSB students, said Cohen.
They have been suspended indefinitely.
"They were clearly identifiable on the video," he said. "The principal and head teacher of the respective schools where the perpetrators go took action immediately."
"The police were called — the police will be taking action."
Dany Marin, the commander of the local police station in Rivière-des-Prairies, said an investigation is underway, and the students could be facing assault charges.
"We will quickly move forward with arrests in this file because the perpetrators are identified," said Marin.
The EMSB will also be conducting its own investigation to determine what happened and who took the recording of the video, said Cohen. The school will also be in contact with the victim.
"The principal will be speaking to the family in more detail to get more information as to why and how this happened."
With files from CBC's Steve Rukavina and Radio-Canada