Portage Collegiate Institute (PCI) has dealt with multiple episodes involving weapons over the last week.
Police say that the first incident occurred on September 22, as the school's RCMP School Liaison Officer (SLO) became aware that two students at the school were threatening other students and were known to have weapons. Attempts to locate those students were unsuccessful, according to police.
Three days later, on September 25, at 11:45 a.m., 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 from Portage was found to have two machetes hidden on him as well as two pocket knives. The second student, a 15-year-old male from Portage, had two machetes and a loaded BB gun.
Both students were charged with Possession of a Weapon for Dangerous Purposes, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, Obstructing a Peace Officer, and Resisting a Peace Officer. The 15-year-old was also charged with Using Imitation Firearms in the Commission of an Offence. They were both released on conditions, including not being around the area of PCI.
On that same day, September 25, 2023, at approximately 1:45 p.m., 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 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. Police say that at 2:30 p.m., officers patrolled 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 have 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 a Weapon for Dangerous Purpose x 2, Carrying a 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 with Breach of Peace.
Both have been released on the condition of not attending the high school.
“We are not going to tolerate youths walking into school or around this community with any type of weapon,” says 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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