'Fight club'-style videos sought after 3 Toronto teens charged with assault
Published Thursday, December 1, 2016 1:13PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, December 1, 2016 2:23PM EST
WARNING: Video contains graphic images that may be disturbing to some
Police are investigating reports of a possible disturbing “fight club”-type trend at a Toronto high school after three students were charged with attacking and severely injuring another teen.
Police say the teen was allegedly attacked by a group of males near Sir Wilfrid Laurier C.I. last week. Three students, ages 14, 15 and 16 have been charged with assault causing bodily harm. By law, they cannot be identified. Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook told CTV News Channel Thursday, that the alleged attack was reportedly recorded on video.
“Apparently a group of students basically attacked (the victim) which caused him to require medical treatment, while others allegedly stood on and recorded the incident,” Douglas-Cook said.
Police say they have not seen the supposed video in question, but that they are aware of possible videos of similar violent incidents being posted to social media.
Investigators are trying to obtain the videos, which may be connected to what students at Sir Wilfrid Laurier CI are reportedly calling “Friday night fights.”
Investigators believe the teens are loading the videos onto Snapchat, a social media platform that erases posts after a certain period of time.
"I don’t know that it is a trend … but it certainly is concerning and that is why we are taking it very seriously, working with the school board to try to deter this kind of behaviour," Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook said Thursday.
Disturbing video obtained by CTV Toronto shows teens beating up other youth in a schoolyard.
One student at Sir Wilfrid Laurier told CTV Toronto that he witnessed a fight.
“It was just in the front foyer, and then a teacher actually came in to stop it,” he said.
Parents of students at the school say they are appalled. “Since the incident happened, I’m scared of bringing my girls here,” one parent told CTV Toronto.
Community outreach worker Paul Nguyen says there is nothing new about schoolyard fights, but social media takes it to another level. Students are watching similar videos, he said, and becoming desensitized to violence.
“I think a lot of young people are just seeking gratification, and social media is just an easy tool to show off the things you’re doing,” Nguyen told CTV Toronto.
In a statement to CTV News Channel, the Toronto District School Board said they are “aware of a number of recent fights involving students from Wilfrid Laurier CI – most of them happening off school property and in some cases after school hours.”
Police are warning that anyone who uploaded videos of fights to social media could face similar charges.
With files from CP24 and CTV Toronto