Cst. Kevin Goodmurphy
West Vancouver - WVPD dealt with a large group of approximately 300 youths at Ambleside beach on Canada Day, many of whom were intoxicated and violent.
On July 1, 2019 at approximately 8:30pm, West Vancouver Police officers were on foot patrol in Ambleside Park in anticipation of increased park users due to Canada Day celebrations. Officers encountered multiple groups of youths, most of which who were under 19 years old and were consuming liquor.
Officers, exercising their authorities under the Liquor Control and Licensing Act, began seizing liquor and issuing violation tickets.
At approximately 8:50pm, three officers were assessing the now large crowd of youths who had congregated near the skate park. Officers began questioning one person who was observed consuming liquor. A struggle ensued after the person is alleged to have charged at one of the officers. The rest of the group quickly surrounded the officers and began chanting and swearing obscenities, while many filmed the interaction.
Two officers were assaulted during the incident with one officer sustaining injuries after being punched in the face.
Further WVPD officers quickly arrived and helped to move the crowd to the beach area where physical fights continued to break out amongst the group and police again had to intervene to ensure public safety. Youths continued to yell obscenities towards the officers.
Due to the violent behavior and sheer size of the unruly crowds, access to Ambleside Park was temporarily shut down, causing traffic issues and preventing families and others from enjoying the festivities at the beach.
The youths stayed in the area for the following three hours before dispersing toward Park Royal Mall where officers witnessed further violence amongst the group.
It is believed that those who were a part of this group, were from the North Shore and ranged in age between 12 and 20 years.
“This type of violent behavior cannot and will not be tolerated in West Vancouver,” says Chief Len Goerke. “Foot patrols throughout our parks and beaches will be ongoing over the Summer months and enforcement action will be taken where officers find individuals contravening the Liquor Control and Licensing Act, or disrupting the peace and lawful use and enjoyment of public space by drunkenness, violence, or threats of violence.”
As a result of this incident, two youths were arrested for assault on police and later released pending further investigation.