NEWS

Police need witnesses in Kelowna swarming attack

08/12/2012 09:03 EDT | Updated 10/12/2012 05:12 EDT
A B.C. boy who ended up in hospital as a result of being attacked after a Kelowna music festival last weekend says police need the public's help in identifying the men responsible.

Jesse, who doesn't want his full name used because he fears for his safety, said he and his friend were walking to their hotel from the Centre of Gravity festival grounds early Monday morning, when they were attacked by a group of six men.

"Liam got punched in the face and I said, 'what the hell,' and two guys turned towards me, and they grabbed me. I got punched in the face, I fell on the ground and then I got kicked. In that time too, Liam got punched in the face two other times."

The two boys from Clearwater, B.C., went to Kelowna General Hospital where they were treated, and where they told police what they could remember, which wasn't much.

"I only got a look at the one guy that hit me. He was white, he had a beard, and he just had board shorts and a muscle shirt on, just like typically what everyone was wearing for the event," Jesse said.

Other victims

While at the hospital, Jesse said he heard of similar attacks that night.

"I met another boy who was sitting on a bench and he told us the story. It happened with six other guys and he got punched in the face three times, and a broken nose."

Jesse's injuries are substantial. He lost teeth and his face was fractured in several places, which required surgery and the the insertion of metal plates.

"I had to get cut underneath my gums, and I got an L-plate put in. And then I got cut underneath my eye to get another plate put in to secure my cheekbone, or else it would've been indented on my left eye by half an inch," Jesse said.

Liam's father, Bob, said his son's injuries are mostly confined to the area around his mouth. He has loose teeth, a jaw misalignment, and will need dental work.

Police need tips

He said Friday that he was frustrated that the police didn't appear have any leads, and hadn't been returning his calls.

"It just seems that they don't want to really touch the subject," he said.

RCMP Const. Kris Clark said an officer is investigating.

"Unfortunately, they've been unable to respond to requests from the family, simply because they are on their regular time off."

He also said that police are limited by the information that Liam and Jesse have been able to provide.

"The descriptions provided by the two victims in this particular case are fairly minimal. The attackers are not known to them and it's really just minimal clothing descriptions," Clark said.

Jesse, Liam, and their families are worried that the men responsible could attack again.

Clark said the investigation is ongoing, but any help from the public, witnesses, or other victims would be appreciated.

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