Teens wreak havoc in White Oaks, 3 neighbours hurt
Local councillor 'horrified,' says incident speaks to larger problem
Three White Oaks residents were assaulted in a violent confrontation with a large crowd of teens, an incident the local city councillor says points to a much wider problem.
Neighbours on Renny Crescent — a residential street near White Oaks Mall — said they were disturbed from their sleep by a commotion just before midnight last Wednesday.
They noticed a large group of teenagers coming and going from a vacant house that had just been sold.
The first to investigate was Julie Poirier. She's in her seventies and has lived on the street for 30 years.
"I met them on the driveway," she said. "They had ripped the [real estate] sign down. I confronted them and that's when it all went sideways."
Poirier said after some discussion about why the teens were in the house, a girl in the group hit her and pushed her down. Poirier suffered bruises and her neighbours, seeing their elderly neighbour badly outnumbered, came out to help.
'I had four of them on top of me'
One to arrive on the scene was a neighbour who lives nearby but did not want to give her name. She, her husband and another neighbour tried to intervene but say they were soon swarmed by the group of teens.
"A group of girls were punching me and I couldn't get away," the neighbour told CBC News. "I had four of them on top of me all at once. My husband was fighting the men and I was fighting the girls."
She suffered a hairline fracture of her nose and a concussion. Her husband wasn't hurt.
Another man, who spoke to CBC News, said he tried to intervene but was also quickly outnumbered and soon sent to the ground by a flurry of punches and kicks. He suffered a torn rotator cuff, an injured collar bone and some road rash.
Some residents saw people in the group carrying rocks and, in one instance, a length of metal pipe.
Police said they were first called to the area at 11:30 p.m. to reports of a disturbance nearby on Jalna Boulevard. The group fled before police arrived.
Const. Sandasha Bough said police were then called to Renny Crescent at 12:20 a.m. regarding an assault. Residents told CBC News police didn't arrive until after 12:45 a.m., but, when they did, the group of youths quickly scattered into back yards and White Oaks Park.
Bough said three people, two of them youths, were charged with mischief and trespassing. She also said the assault investigation is ongoing.
Residents who spoke to CBC News said that while some of the teenagers weren't confrontational, there was a core group unafraid to challenge neighbours. Some residents on the street were reluctant to speak with CBC News, saying they feared a reprisal.
Youth need more to do, councillor says
Ward 12 Coun. Elizabeth Peloza was on Renny Crescent Tuesday, speaking with residents about the incident.
She told CBC News she's heard of other incidents in the White Oaks area in recent weeks involving large groups of youths — in some cases 80 or more — roaming in a pack and causing trouble. Peloza said she's heard complaints about everything from group fighting to street racing.
She said the incident on Renny Crescent isn't the only time a confrontation with a resident has resulted in an assault.
"I'm horrified that this is what's happening," she said. "They're creating disturbances, they have no respect for the police, they're hard to disperse."
Peloza said she's looking into providing more programming for youth, particularly after 9 p.m.
A section of Renny backs onto White Oaks Park, and Peloza said she's working to get lighting improved in an effort to make the area easier to police.