On Thursday, May 9, 2013 at approximately 7:30 pm, WPS Division #11 Community Support Unit members were in the area of Isabel St and Logan Ave when they observed a large group of people acting in a suspicious manner. Due to the number of people involved, back up units were requested to assist. As Police converged on the area, several people were taken into custody. Officer subsequently located and seized:
- three (3) cans of bear spray
- one (1) eight ball
- numerous machetes
Six (6) youths aged fourteen (14) – seventeen (17) were arrested and later released by Promise to Appear with an undertaking. They are facing charges of Possession of Weapons for a Dangerous Purpose and Carry concealed weapons.
The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) is an extremely weak piece of legislation that does very little to hold Young Offenders accountable for their criminal actions. The Act is especially inept when it comes to dealing with hard-core gang related youth who commit extremely violent crimes. Adult leaders of criminal street gangs are very much aware of this fact and often cultivate Young Offenders to be front men for the gang and participate in serious crime like drug trafficking, gang shootings and murders.
Young Offenders are more apt to use weapons due to their lack of maturity and inability to appreciate the foreseeable consequences of a violent act.
The types of weapons seized from these Youths are all potentially deadly. Pepper spray is often used by gang members to incapacitate potential victims for Robbery or in conflict with rival gang members. Machetes are weapons favoured by African Mafia and Mad Cow gang members. An eight ball placed in a sock or wrapped with tape and rigged with a handle can be an extremely devastating weapon.
On August 26, 2001, Iraqi immigrant Chya Saleh was attacked by a Winnipeg Youth who was armed with an eight ball that had been placed in a tube sock. The Youth smashed Saleh over the head with the improvised weapon delivering a devastating blow that fractured his skull. Saleh fled to his apartment but succumbed to his injuries and died sitting in an easy chair. A neighbour called Police after seeing a blood trail leading to his suite. Ironically, Saleh fled Iraq because of his fear of the repressive Saddam Hussein regime.
Judge Ron Meyers subsequently sentenced Saleh’s killer to one day in jail citing the YCJA prohibits Judges from considering deterrence as a sentencing factor.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS – “Teen Gets One Day in Jail for Killing”