Shopkeeper describes Vernon sword fight
Kyle Polito, says he and some friends hid out in his store Head Rush while a group of teenagers loitered outside.
(CHARLOTTE HELSTON /InfoTel Multimedia)
May 09, 2013 - 6:20 AM
The last thing Kyle Polito wanted to see outside his mom's downtown Vernon store was a public melee involving swords and skateboards. Making matters worse was the part he played in it.
RCMP were called to Head Rush—Polito's store—just before 11 p.m. Tuesday night, after reports of more than a dozen young people fighting in the street. RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk said one man was armed with a sword in each hand, while several youths hit him with skateboards.
Polito, who is in his 20s, says it all started at Polson skatepark. He was with a few friends and "an acquaintance," as he called him. Another group of about 15 skateboarders were already at the park filming stunts with a video camera. The situation became heated when the larger group got too close to his "acquaintance" with their camera.
"They were calling us names, and things just escalated from there and somehow spun out of control," Polito says.
Fearing for his group's safety, Polito ushered them into Head Rush, just a few blocks away. He figured they could wait things out inside the store, which was closed for business at the time. Regretting the decision, Polito says he eventually told the acquaintance to leave. On his way out, he grabbed two ornamental swords from the store.
Polito says his acquaintance slipped and fell on the steps outside the store as the skateboarders—which he estimates was closer to 30 people—advanced on him.
"They beat him with a skateboard, and I guess he deserved that for stealing the (swords)," Polito says. "He started this nonsense and unwanted drama."
Polito is devastated that the incident may have damaged the reputation of the store his family worked so hard to establish. Head Rush opened in March and Polito says this incident has marred an otherwise positive business experience.
"Sure we sell bongs and knives, but this (incident) had nothing to do with the store. I'm just trying to run a legitimate business," he says.
While no one was arrested at the scene, Molendyk expects charges to be laid.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013