Halloween hijinks include kids with 'copious amounts' of alcohol in Penticton | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Halloween hijinks include kids with 'copious amounts' of alcohol in Penticton

Penticton RCMP report a busy Halloween night, Oct. 31, with numerous calls of intoxication and fireworks complaints.

PENTICTON - Police spent a busy Halloween night responding to numerous fireworks and intoxicated persons complaints.

“Copious amounts of liquor was seized from 15 year old youths,” Penticton RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth says.

Numerous backpacks were seized, full of bottles of everything from Jack Daniels whiskey to Captain Morgans rum, he says. Several two-litre bottles of coolers were also seized, as were a number of backpacks of beer.

According to Wrigglesworth, he’s never seen that much liquor in the hands of youthful teens before.

“Where are they getting it? Some said they got it from their parents’ bar, but more often they said they wait outside the cold beer and wine stores and ask people to buy it for them. There’s adults around who think it’s okay to buy for these kids, however, that’s not just a fine. Under the liquor control and licensing act, you’re going to go explain to a judge what your actions are if you’re buying liquor for youths,” he says, adding the department will be targeting that activity in the future. “The amount of things that can go wrong, when kids drink that much is scary."

Wrigglesworth says the detachment had a lot of support for members on patrol, with Citizens on Patrol assisting on Halloween night. The patrols centred on high traffic, trick or treating neighbourhoods early in the evening, moving towards school areas where school-aged kids tend to gather later.

There were also a large number of complaints regarding fireworks, he says, noting many of the kids’ backpacks contained not only liquor and beer, but fireworks as well. Wrigglesworth says he is unaware of any reports of injuries caused by fireworks on Saturday night.

Several youth were also arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance and released to their parents’ care.

Later in the evening, the action shifted downtown where police responded to calls for several fights that broke out in front of bars. No major incidents were reported but 15 people did spend the night in jail.

“It was a Saturday night, so lots of people were out. We had a good handle on it. Wiltse School in the past has been a destination for kids to attend. We had a number of officers on hand there and never let a group of more than 20 trespass on school grounds after hours. They never had the chance to get 100-150 assembling like they had in the past,” Wrigglesworth says.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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