On September 22, 2023, the Portage Collegiate Institute RCMP School Liaison Officer (SLO) became aware that two students at the school were known to have weapons and were making threats to other students. Attempts to locate those students were negative.
On September 25, 2023, at 11:45 am, the SLO was on patrol when the two students were spotted in a back alley near the school. The two attempted to flee on foot, but were apprehended by officers. When searched, a 14-year-old male student was found to have two machetes hidden on his person as well as two pocket knives. The second student, a 15-year-old male, had two machetes and a loaded BB gun. Both males are from Portage.
Both youths were charged with Possession of Weapon for Dangerous Purpose, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, Obstruct Peace Officer, and Resist Peace Officer. The 15-year-old was also charged with Using Imitation Firearms in Commission of an Offence. They were both released on conditions, including to not be in the area of the high school.
Also on September 25, 2023, at approximately 1:45 pm, the RCMP SLO was asked to attend the high school for a report of a large group of students who may be involved in fights off campus. As the SLO was attending the school, the officer assisted in preventing a fight from taking place near the school. One of the students involved, a 16-year-old male, was taken home by police and advised not to return to the area.
At approximately 2:30 pm, officers were patrolling in the area and saw a large group of youths walking on the street. It was noted that an individual reported to have weapons was running up to the group of youths. Police immediately intercepted and arrested the 14-year-old male from Long Plain First Nation. When searched, the male was found to be in possession of what appeared to be a firearm. The firearm was secured and determined to be an airsoft revolver. He also had one can of bear spray. He was taken into custody and charged with Possession of Weapon for Dangerous Purpose x 2, Carry Concealed Weapon, and Using Imitation Firearms in Commission of an Offence.
Police noticed that the 16-year-old male dropped off at home earlier was again with the group of youths. He was arrested and charged for Breach of Peace.
Both have been released on conditions not to attend the high school.
“We are not going to tolerate youths walking into school or around this community with any type of weapon,” said Inspector Paul Peddle, Officer in Charge of Portage RCMP. “This is high-risk, dangerous behaviour, and we need to come together as a community to address it. If you see any sort of threatening or disturbing behaviour, please report it to police immediately. We will continue to work with community supports and have a presence in the school to create a safe environment for all students.”
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