RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)

Charge pending in Coquitlam park fight that witness alleges was racially motivated

RCMP said they do not believe race played a factor in the incident

Mounties say they are investigating after an allegedly race-motivated series of fights broke out at a Coquitlam splash park on Saturday (July 3).

The incident was described in detail in a social media post by Juan Castaneda.

In his post, Castaneda said he was with his two young children at the Town Centre Park splash pad early on Saturday evening.

“(Primarily) two boys with water guns were shooting a few people in the park. I was noticing that they targeted mostly people of colour..but thought that it couldn’t be. Maybe just a coincidence. But they were black kids, brown and Asian kids getting shot in the face – all without water guns,” Castaneda wrote.

Castaneda said his own child was shot in the face with a water gun as well.

According to Castaneda’s account, the situation escalated when an Asian teenage boy dealt with a “few minutes of unrelenting attacks to the face” and went to speak to the children’s parents.

Castaneda said that what he overheard of the conversation was “laced with racist implications.”

He said he was on his way to the group to support the boy when “out of nowhere (the mother I’m only assuming) of the water gun shooting boy sucker punched the Asian boy on the side of the head.”

Castaneda said that he called 911 and eight RCMP cars responded within a couple minutes but that they parents and boys were already gone.

Const. Deanna Law said the RCMP were aware of the incident but warned that “social media obviously isn’t always accurate.”

Law said that one arrest was made in connection to an alleged assault during the incident “but the assault charge was between two adults” and did not involve a minor.

“It’s still being investigated,” she said, noting that charges have been forwarded to Crown.

Law said that despite the post shared on social media, police do not believe at this time that the assault, or incident overall, was racially motivated.

“It’s early in the investigation (so) that may change but at this time, I can say no… it’s a charge of assault at this point.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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