June 21, 2013 - 5:01 PM
TREE FLATS CONDITIONS NOT CONDUCIVE TO PHOTOGRAPHS
KAMLOOPS - RCMP are busy trying to gather photographic evidence from the public to piece together what happened at a large grad party Tuesday night where a 17-year-old girl reported to police that she was sexually assaulted, but one student who attended the party believes it's a waste of time.
Triston Jonsson, 16, attended the party, 'receiving' the torch as he heads into Grade 12 at Westsyde Secondary School next year.
He says the conditions from that night would make it difficult to notice any crime let alone snap photos.
"The fire this year, it wasn't very big," he says. "It was hard to see people even around the fire."
It was dark, raining, and flashlights were rampant in the woods, where the sexual assault was reported to have taken place.
Add to that a bunch of inebriated, oblivious teens.
"It's definitely going to be hard to track down this individual," Jonsson says. "There were people making out everywhere."
Jonsson says he didn't find out about the alleged sexual assault until the following day.
He was not alone in his surprise of the reported crime.
"It was chill," Jonnson says.
He says the description he heard of the night was not what he experienced.
"I read the articles in the newspaper," he says. "It's not as bad as it seemed."
He believes 1,000 people is an exaggeration, adding that he thinks it was maybe about 500 people — 700 max. Several student shared doubt about the high police figure as well.
Despite a potentially bad reputation on him and his peers, the crime hit home to him afterwards.
He says if he had known about it during the party, he would have wanted to help.
"I would have tried to get a description," he says. "I definitely would have reported it."
And the sexual assault may not have been the only crime that night. Some students reported that two girls were "bottled" or hit in the head with bottles during the party. Police are also investigating a vehicle theft that night that might have ended up at the party.
A blue Volkswagen Jetta was stolen from Pleasant Street and a Kamloops woman pleaded online for help in finding the car, stolen from her cousin's downtown home. The next day, however, it was found in Barnhartvale, but not how she remembers it — it's burnt to a crisp.
While the owner of the Pleasant Street home has said it was found at Tree Flats, Kamloops RCMP are not linking the stolen car to the party.
"I know there was a vehicle stolen and I know that there was a vehicle burnt somewhere in Campbell Creek," says Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Cheryl Bush. "I don't know that there is any correspondence between that and Tree Flats."
Bush says she believes she would have heard if they were connected, but did not rule out the possibility.
RCMP continue to investigate both cases.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the local detachment at 250-828-3000.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013