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Police in Spruce Grove investigating so-called youth ‘fight club’
Published Tuesday, May 16, 2017 4:14PM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 16, 2017 7:18PM MDT
RCMP west of Edmonton said officers were investigating complaints related to apparent fights between teens in Spruce Grove.
Spruce Grove RCMP said its alleged youth are using social media to announce fights, and those posts and meetings are attracting spectators.
Back in early May, one local mom said her Junior High-aged son was injured after a fight – she said on May 3, her son was at school during a school break, and was pressured to fight another boy, a grade ahead of him in school.
“He came home for lunch that day…he ate his lunch and wanted to stay home,” Tanya, the boy’s mother said. “I wouldn’t have it, he was sent back to school.”
CTV News is not publishing her last name to protect the identity of her son.
She said later that day, just after 2:30 p.m., her son texted asking to come home – she told him to stay at school.
“That was, I think, two cries for help, in wanting to come home, not wanting to do this fight,” she said. “I have guilt, that if I had just let him come home, that it wouldn’t have happened. But it would’ve happened to somebody else."
She said her son didn’t personally know the boy who was involved in the fight. Her son came home, she said she didn’t recognize him, and said his clothes were covered in blood. She took him to hospital.
“[My son] met for the fight, he’s never fought before, he doesn’t know how to fight, he knows how to wrestle with his dad and his brother,” she said. “The [other] boy, I guess, monkey punched him, broke his nose, fractured his cheek, his eye muscles were damaged and he had plastic surgery to fix his face.”
She said her son will probably be out of school for the rest of the school year as he recovers from his injuries.
After the incident, Tanya said she heard more details about the apparent fight club: usually fights are set through social media, although that didn't happen in this case. Tanya said she's heard that challenges are made through tags on Instagram, but in this case, her son was not connected to the other boy through social media.
RCMP said they’re investigating, and working with officers to monitor social media, and they’re reaching out to local schools to keep students from participating in these activities.
Police said participation in such fights could lead to criminal charges, which can impact travel and job options in the future.