Grad bush party nightmare

Instead of celebrating the end of another school year, a group of Kelowna teens were left fearing for their safety.

A "passing of the torch" bush party turned violent Saturday night when several people showed up with batons, brass knuckles and knives looking for a fight.

Someone who attended the event, held in the Greystokes area off Highway 33, spoke to Castanet on condition of anonymity and said the party for Rutland Secondary students was going well until the sun went down.

They said a group of people started doing drugs and "going crazy."

“I had some friends who were walking out of the bushes after peeing and they were attacked by four people with batons. One guy just got the crap beat out of him.”

While they didn’t see anyone get stabbed they did notice a person with a large hunting knife.

Several students left the party while others hid in their tents. However, that didn’t stop the attackers who were allegedly both current students and former graduates.

“They ran out of guys to fight so they started hitting girls,” the party-goer said.

The group allegedly started to jump on tents while people were inside and trash the Greystokes area, which is protected.

Police were called to the party, however, Const. Steve Holmes says they were not able to find the suspects or any weapons.

“Police stopped some vehicles leaving the area and found that a 17-year-old male had been hit in the nose with what was described as a baton. Other than swelling and some dried blood, the intoxicated male required no medical treatment and just wanted to return home,” said Holmes, adding the teen was in the care of his older brother.

Officers disposed of some liquor and many of the teens decided to stay overnight, according to Holmes. Police left the area when everything was quiet.

The party-goer says that isn’t quite true, as things heated up again when the attackers jumped on tents at about 4:30 a.m.

An ambulance is also reported to have attended for a drug overdose, after a girl’s drink was spiked.

“I wish everyone would just respect everyone else. Everyone was trying to have a good time, (the party) was the grads' year end celebration and now they are leaving with these terrible memories.”

There were about 200 teens reported to be at the event and while a mess was made, several RSS students returned the next day to clean up the garbage.

Cynthia Coats with the Regional District Waste Reduction program says if the students didn’t pick up after themselves the RDCO would have tended to the mess.

“They are on Crown land and so it is part of the Conservation officers' jurisdiction, but typically they don’t have the resources so we help them with the illegal dump cleanup,” she explained.

While the RDCO has not been called to the land, Coats hopes that means the students did their part.


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