Nova Scotia

Halifax police investigate video of apparent assault outside Citadel High School

Police are investigating after videos surfaced online of a violent incident near Citadel High School in Halifax. At least two videos appear to show a group of teens surrounding a boy lying on the grass, who is then kicked by another boy and a girl.

Videos show teen being kicked by 2 others as he lay on the ground

Police are investigating a violent incident that took place outside Citadel High School in Halifax. (Robert Short/CBC)

Police are investigating, and consequences are expected at the school level, after videos surfaced online of a violent incident near Citadel High School in Halifax on Thursday.

On Friday, at least two videos circulated that appear to show a group of teens surrounding a boy lying on the grass in a field near the school. 

Another boy appears to stomp repeatedly on his head, and later punch him, while the girl taking one video encourages him. She also appears to kick the boy, as seen from a second video angle.

CBC is choosing not to publish the videos as they may identify the potential youth victim or suspects involved.

The incident happened on the Halifax Common on Thursday afternoon after students were dismissed, said Doug Hadley, spokesperson for the Halifax Regional Centre for Education.

Hadley said school staff found out about the incident from students on Friday, and were beginning to speak with the teens involved when they found out videos of the incident were popping up online.

"They knew it had been quite serious, so they contacted police," Hadley said Saturday.

Doug Hadley, spokesperson for the Halifax Regional Centre for Education, said there will be consequences stemming from a violent incident outside Citadel High School on Thursday afternoon. (CBC)

The victim and the two "aggressors" are students at Citadel High School. Hadley said he could not provide their grade level for privacy reasons.

But, Hadley said the victim is "OK" and was back in school on Friday. He does not believe the teen went to hospital.

The school has spoken to the families of all those involved, Hadley said, and the aggressors know that "there's going to be consequences."

Hadley could not say exactly what that discipline will look like, but will relate to breaches of the school's code of conduct. Even though the incident happened off Citadel High property, Hadley said it impacts on the operation of the school.

"There are a range of consequences that can occur there, which do include out-of-school suspensions," Hadley said.

The school is continuing to share information with police, and this matter will probably be "ongoing for some time," Hadley said.

People asked to stop sharing video

Hadley also said there have been online comments suggesting the student on the ground has special needs, but this is not true and the family is "very upset" this narrative is being shared.

The HRCE is also encouraging people who have seen the video, which Hadley said is "very disturbing," not to share it.

"It does have the ability to cause further harm to the individual that's in it, who didn't consent to having their images filmed," Hadley said.

Joe Morrison, Citadel High's principal, sent out a message to the school community on Saturday letting people know about the incident involving three students.

Morrison said the matter "is being taken very seriously" by both the school and police. If any students need someone to speak with at school, Morrison said they will connect them with the right support.

Halifax police investigating

Halifax Regional Police said in a release Saturday they have received reports of "a physical altercation between some youths," caught on video and there is an ongoing investigation.

Police say they are unable to provide specific details about the case due to the age of the people involved.

"We would like to assure the public that we take the matter seriously and are taking all necessary steps in this ongoing matter. We appreciate the concern," the release said.

Anyone with information or video evidence of this incident is asked to call police at (902) 490-5016.  Anonymous tips can also be sent to Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477.

With files from Alex Cooke and Blair Sanderson

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