Damage, assaults and disturbances: Delta police investigate large gathering on Halloween
Police say youth intentionally fired fireworks at bystanders, first responders
Delta police are seeking the public's help in identifying people involved in a large gathering on Halloween night, which they say resulted in property damage and multiple assaults.
According to police, "hundreds of youth" showed up at South Delta Secondary School and the nearby Dennison Park on Monday night. They estimated up to 400 people there at one time, in what Acting Insp. James Sandberg described as "organized chaos."
The Delta Police Department said fireworks were brought and fired directly at people, including first responders who they said were intentionally targeted.
In a statement, police linked to an online video showing fireworks going off on a football field, amidst people. They said the fireworks damaged sprinkler heads, and were set off for more than four hours.
The Delta Fire Department extinguished fires in bushes and dumpsters in the area.
Sandberg said fireworks are banned in Delta unless someone buys a permit ahead of time. He said two permits were purchased ahead of Halloween, but that the firework activity were not permitted and were therefore illegal.
Additionally, police said "several" assaults happened and one youth was struck by a firework, which caused burns to her upper arm and shoulder. Two police officers also suffered minor injuries.
The total cost of the damage is unknown. Sandberg said he expects property damage reports to trickle in over the next few days, as he knows some fences were damaged during the night's events.
He estimated that about seven arrests were made but the youth were later released, because resources were limited. About 15 police officers, as well as city staff including firefighters, city engineers and bylaw officers, were on the scene from about 7 p.m. until after midnight, Sandberg said.
"When you're numbered 15 officers to 400 youth, it becomes a little bit unmanageable."
Police said youth gatherings and fireworks in Ladner and North Delta also resulted in noise complaints, damage and an assault.
A North Delta man was bear-sprayed by an unknown youth, according to police, and a port-a-potty was blown up with fireworks.
The fire department was also sent to extinguish a fire at the Mackie Park turf field.
Police are asking anyone with video of any of these events to contact the Delta Police Department or upload video evidence to their online portal.
With files from Lien Yeung