SOUTH Asian families in Surrey’s Newton neighbourhood of 134th Street and 83 Avenue are reportedly terrified after South Asian young males swarmed and assaulted three male members of a South Asian family who were taking a walk around 10:30 p.m. on Friday when they reportedly refused to buy drugs from them.
Residents say that it is common knowledge that people openly sell drugs in the playground near Newton elementary school in the area.
One of the alleged victims said that he was with his father and younger brother when a group of young males in a vehicle approached them and asked them if they were interested in purchasing drugs.
The father and two sons told them that they were not interested and didn’t want to get involved in such activity. But the alleged drug dealers grew more aggressive, trying to coerce them into buying drugs. The father then suggested to his sons that they should walk away.
But as they were leaving, the young males, armed with broken fence panels and pipes, reportedly exited their vehicle and chased after them.
The father and two sons tried to defend themselves as best as they could and one of them managed to call 911. According to the victims, there were initially four young males, but they were soon joined by a large number of other young males who suddenly showed up.
When the police vehicles turned up, the young males scattered in all directions, but police still managed to detain a few of them and question them. Paramedics attended to three victims who sustained bruises.
WHEN one of the victims indicated to the officer that one of the males hanging around in the distance belonged to the group of attackers, the officer seemed confused about the difference between “knowing” someone and “recognizing” someone.
The victims were also very upset when an officer allowed some of the detained alleged attackers to come as close as three metres to them, which resulted in the young men allegedly threatening the victims once again. The community members at the scene were of the opinion that the police should have ensured that some distance was maintained between the victims, which would have prevented the continuation of the verbal attack by the detained young men.
Also, it is alleged that the police officers seemed to lack any coordination as several different officers kept calling the victims to inquire if any officer had taken their statements. Each time the victims made it clear that no one had taken their statements yet. No one provided the alleged victims with a file number. Until Wednesday night, the alleged victims had yet to receive a follow-up phone call from the police.
THE above story is a report by an SFU student who only wanted to be identified by her initials K.K. She happened to be in the area that night as she was visiting a relative there. She also took the pictures accompanying this article and interviewed the victims.
SURREY RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet told The VOICE’s Rattan Mall on Thursday that the incident took place just after 10:30 p.m. at 134th Street near a cul-de-sac. Two members of the Kandola family were taking a walk when they were allegedly approached by a suspect in a vehicle. The suspect asked them if they wanted something. Apparently the Kandolas told them to leave them alone and that they were just walking home. The suspects followed them and then for some reason a lot of people showed up.
Paquet said: “When our officers arrived there, there were about 25 to 30 people, mostly [South Asian male] teenagers. Almost all of them ran when police arrived.”
He said it makes it difficult to find out what exactly went down when you don’t have independent witnesses who stay at the scene and say what happened. He said officers spoke with two members of the Kandola family as well as another male that alleged that he was attacked as well.
The allegations were that some of the suspects hit them with pieces of wood or 2x4s. One stated that a Taser was produced, but was not used. However, police did not find a Taser on any of those who were detained.
Paquet said that the five or six people who were detained, all had conflicting stories and all claimed they were assaulted by others. No one was arrested; all had been detained for investigation purposes. But police know their identities.
He said that a lot of the statements needed to be reviewed before they know if any charges will be laid.
Paquet appealed for independent witnesses to contact them and provide them with information as to what happened as the investigation is still ongoing.