Surrey RCMP say they are investigating after a “fight” involving three males inside Guildford Town Centre that resulted in a 14-year-old boy being pepper sprayed.
It happened at approximately 3:13 p.m. on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14), and took place in or near the shopping centre’s food court.
Corporal Elenore Sturko said police received a report of a “fight involving three males” inside the mall.
“Police were advised that pepper spray had been discharged against one of the males,” said Sturko. “Two of the males had fled the area before police arrived. The male who was sprayed is a youth, and he remained at the location.”
The 14-year-old boy was assessed for his exposure to pepper spray but police “don’t have any further information on whether any other individuals sought treatment for exposure to pepper spray.”
Police believe this incident involved individuals who are known to one another.
Surrey RCMP say no arrests have been made at this time, and the investigation is ongoing.
A witness at the scene, who asked not to be named out of fear for their safety, told the Now-Leader the victim was in “quite bad shape” after the incident, describing it as an “assault.”
“This guy came in and there were young people and they just jumped this guy, this poor kid, with his back pack on,” the witness said. “They were trying to get the back pack off. All the sudden, all these other people started rushing in and saying, ‘Stop, stop, stop!’ The next thing we know we’re all choking. The people who rushed in to help, they had bloody noses too. I don’t know if they were punched or if it was pepper spray itself.”
The witness added that parents were ushering children away “as they were coughing and had got some of the spray in their eyes.”