West Kelowna teens involved in brawl fear for their safety after receiving death threats - InfoNews

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West Kelowna teens involved in brawl fear for their safety after receiving death threats

Injuries suffered by two teens involved in a conflict with several adults at Barona Beach in West Kelowna, August 9, 2020, are seen in these submitted photos.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED
August 12, 2020 - 9:24 AM

The teens involved in the rock throwing incident in West Kelowna earlier this week have a very different version of what happened last weekend.

Barona Beach resident Jenn Lamont told iNFOnews.ca on Monday that she came home to find an altercation between her husband and a group of more than a dozen roughly 16-year-old teens. She said they were loudly swearing outside her home Aug. 9, and when they were politely asked to quiet down, the teens got violent.

iNFOnews.ca finally tracked some of those teens down and while they admit they retaliated, they say they didn't start the confrontation. One teen chosen to speak for the group, who doesn't want his name used for fear of repercussions, admits they were making plenty of noise that day.

"We were being loud and swearing and being teenagers,” he said.

When someone yelled to them from a home to shut up, they replied in the same way, not thinking much of it.

Then, several adults came out of the home and one of them pushed his friend, the teen said.

"He pushed him to the ground and started kicking him in the ribs, so he has a broken rib now and a black eye,” he said.

Just as we couldn't confirm actual injuries and accounts from the adults in the original story, we can verify no claims from the teens either beyond what is visible in photos and video. 

He said he froze when his friend was pushed, and a man came up behind him and put him in a choke hold, throwing him to the ground.

"Once people see something like that, we’re all going to react,” he said. “That’s really when everything started to go downhill.”

Lamont captured small parts of what happened, including some of them throwing rocks toward her group, on video from her cell phone. They have since been removed from social media. Lamont said when she began filming the boys from her vehicle, one of the teens grabbed her phone. When she chased after him, she said one of the teens tripped her and pushed her to the ground.

However, the teens say this was not the case at all.

“She actually ran out of her car to chase us and tripped and fell because she was wearing flip flops,” the teen said. "Nobody was even around her when she fell… not close enough to trip her."

Lamont shared her videos and photos, and her version of the story, on social media, but that wasn't all. She later shared an entirely unfounded allegation that one or more of them sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl in an elevator at the resort earlier that day.

Since then several of the boys said they have been identified from the videos and threatened online.

"I went to work the other day, and literally I couldn’t work,” he said. "I was super shaky and just couldn’t stop thinking, 'what if one of these people comes into my work and kills me?'"

He lives near where the incident took place and doesn't feel safe walking down his own street.

The boys are frustrated, as they feel their side of the story isn't being heard — they aren't even allowed into the Facebook group where many of the allegations were being made.

Kelowna RCMP confirmed they were told of an alleged sexual assault on Aug. 9 by a third party.

However, after investigating the claim they determined that the incident in question was not an assault, but an inappropriate comment made by an individual not necessarily connected to the group of teens.

"An incident had happened where a compliment was given to a ten-year-old girl and she felt uncomfortable," Const. Solana Pare said. "We followed up with the alleged victim of that incident as well as her parents, and it's unfounded."

While Lamont continued to make unfounded allegations about the identified teens, she also blasted police saying she was "appalled" that they didn't charge any of the teens. But Pare confirmed the teens' account that "both groups challenged each other which escalated in a physical altercation."

RCMP spoke with the teens at the scene and their parents following the incident but Lamont still hasn't given police a formal account of what happened. Pare said they have been unable to reach her.

"We’re trying to work through it to the best that we can, however, it would be great if that individual who is very upset could speak with us about it and we could gain her version of the events," she said.

Pare said that the investigation is ongoing and police are trying to collect video footage to piece together a clearer picture of the events that transpired.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2020

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