Seven girls charged with assault in random swarming
Ottawa Citizen and other CanWest newspapers, February 22, 2008, by Linda Nguyen, Canwest News Service
Seven teenage girls aged 12 to 16 have been charged with assault following a random gang-style swarming in London, Ont., earlier this month.
"Over the past few days, we' ve arrested and charged seven young offender females," London police Const. Amy Phillipo said Friday.
Police in this southwestern Ontario city say that on Feb. 2 at around 9:40 p.m., a 19-year-old woman, a 15-year-old boy and another boy were walking through a commercial area of town when they were approached by a "large group" of teenagers.
"The group approached the youth, surrounded and swarmed them," Phillipo said. "They assaulted the 15-year-old boy and stabbed him in the back."
She said the boy was able to escape and called 911.
The 19-year-old woman remained behind and that' s when the group turned on her, police said. By this point, the males had scattered, leaving only girls in the group.
"After he (the boy) fled, the female was still there and she was surrounded by a group of females," Phillipo said. "They started punching her repeatedly."
Police said the swarming happened in a well lit area filled with strip-mall businesses.
The fight spilled onto the street and investigators received numerous witness accounts from passing motorists.
"By the time we arrived there, we didn' t make any arrests because everyone kind of scattered," Phillipo said.
She added that the third boy who was with the two victims was not assaulted during the swarming.
Investigators have confirmed that this was a random attack.
"The victim did not know the perpetrators," Phillipo said.
The 15-year-old boy is recovering from the stabbing and the woman was not seriously injured during the attack.
Phillipo said she can' t recall a swarming like this in the recent past and added that the boy did the right thing by trying to get help.
"The best thing to do in this kind of situation is get away and call for help. Get out of the situation," she said. "I would not suggest someone stay and fight."
While the initial charges relate to the assault of the unidentified woman, police say they don' t believe the girls were responsible for the stabbing of the boy. Police are continuing to look for other members of the group who may have been involved in that attack.
Â© Canwest News Service 2008