A 14-year-old boy is set to appear in court early next year on several weapons charges related to an October knife incident.
RCMP arrested a teen suspect in an investigation that began Oct. 23 when West Shore officers were called for a report of someone threatening to kill people in a McDonald’s restaurant in Langford.
The youth suspect left on a bus bound for Sooke before officers arrived, West Shore RCMP said in a statement.
Sooke RCMP intercepted the bus, arrested a suspect and seized a knife.
In November, two more people told Sooke RCMP the suspect had brandished a knife and made death threats on a BC Transit bus on Oct. 23.
Police spokesperson Cpl. Nancy Saggar said the youth’s motivations weren’t clear but that they were intoxicated at the McDonald’s, having either been drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
“It’s pretty clear that the suspect was lacking human judgment. Especially when you’re under the influence, there’s no real rhyme or reason to why these events took place. We don’t know what the intention was. But it was definitely someone who was under the influence.”
The youth suspect was again arrested and now faces a variety of charges including two counts of assault with a weapon, one count of possession of a concealed weapon and one count of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
The suspect is on conditions including not having any contact with the victims, not attending the McDonald’s or any BC Transit bus or property and not possessing any weapons including knives. He is set to appear in court in early January 2023.
Saggar said there has been a concerning spike in the number of violent incidents involving youth over the past six weeks and that police have been struggling to get through to high-risk kids with its various community policing initiatives.
“Whether or not our resources are accepted, that’s a struggle that we’re seeing. We can try to provide resources, try to provide intervention through community channels, but we cannot force them to take on those resources, whether it be counseling or substance abuse supports.”
She also noted there’s been a number of occasions where youth have been witnesses to incidents but won’t talk to police.
“That could be for several different reasons: not feeling like they’re not going to fit into a friend group, or they’re going to be called a rat if they come and they talk to the police. But it is definitely hampering our investigations when you have witnesses who’ve seen what happened but don’t want to come forward and talk to us.”
Saggar said there’s no indication the recent spike in youth crimes is gang-related, but she said it seems there is a group of suspects who know each other from school, although they don’t regularly go to class.
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