Saskatoon police charge 13-year-old girl over park assaults, say other assailants too young to be charged
Charges follow group attack on woman, 33, that was caught on video
Police have charged a 13-year-old girl after two assaults, including one that was recorded by a bystander at Pleasant Hill Park in Saskatoon.
The teen appeared in Saskatoon provincial court on Friday. She cannot be named because of her age.
The slim, short-haired girl wore a purple T-shirt and had a heavily-bandaged right hand. She indicated to Judge Doug Agnew that she understood her release conditions that include having no contact with 12 youth identified as either persons of interest or suspects in the alleged assaults.
Agnew rejected a Crown request to impose a 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew. The assaults were both alleged to have happened early evening or during school hours.
The 13-year-old was released into the custody of her parents, who were in court. She is scheduled to return June 6.
The May 20, 2019 incident was recorded by a bystander. A 33-year-old woman said she was set upon by several youth at about 7 p.m. CST.
Bonnie Halcrow, who lives in Flin Flon, Man., but was visiting Saskatoon, told CBC News she had bruises to her back, arms and legs after she was assaulted.
The man who recorded the incident, who is originally from Africa, said he did not intervene because he feared getting involved when he was two days away from getting his permanent residency.
On Friday police announced charges against a 13-year-old girl in relation to the attack.
The accused has also been charged in relation to an alleged assault of two girls, aged 10 and 14, on May 13. The victims in that alleged attack, also at Pleasant Hill Park, also reported being assaulted by a group of young people.
Police said a number of other youth have been identified as being involved but will not be charged because they are younger than 12 years old.
Police had been near park minutes before attack
Saskatoon Police spokesperson Kelsie Fraser said the police service had been receiving calls about a group of youth causing problems the area.
"But it wasn't until recently that their behaviour actually turned or met the threshold for criminal behaviour, or criminal in nature I should say," said Fraser.
"So as of right now we are investigating three separate assaults. That behaviour did escalate and so we had to act quickly and as of charges today we feel that we have acted quickly and appropriately in trying to get a resolution to this."
Fraser said police had been in the area near the Pleasant Hill Park just minutes before the Monday assault on the 33-year-old woman.
She said police are only one part of the response to violence in that area, adding that it is a community effort involving health services and local schools.
'We are visible in the area': Police
Fraser said Pleasant Hill residents also play a role in making the community safer, urging people to report any criminal or suspicious behaviour.
"We are visible in the area," said Fraser.
"It's too bad it happened just a few minutes after but we can't be everywhere at once and that's why we rely on the community to try and help us with that."
The Saskatoon Police Service said it is continuing to investigate the attacks and several others.