Portage la Prairie RCMP arrested several high school students after they were found to be carrying weapons and making threats to other students.
On Friday, the RCMP School Liason Officer (SLO) for Portage Collegiate Institute was made aware that two students at the school were known to have weapons and were making threats to other youths. The officer attempted to locate the two students but was unsuccessful.
On Monday, just before lunch, the SLO was on patrol when the two students were spotted in the back alley near the school. The pair, a 14-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy, both from Portage, attempted to flee but were quickly apprehended by officers. When searched, the 14-year-old was found to have two machetes and two pocket knives. The other youth had two machetes and a loaded BB gun.
Both youths were charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, 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 in the area of the high school.
Later that afternoon, at around 1:45 p.m., the RCMP SLO was asked to attend the high school for a second time, this time for a report of a large group of students involved in fights off campus. When the officer arrived, they ended the fight and took one of the students, a 16-year-old boy, home. He was asked not to return to the area.
Less than an hour later, at 2:30 p.m., officers patrolling the area noticed a large group of teens walking on the street. A 14-year-old boy from Long Plain First Nation, who was reported to have weapons on him, was running up the group of youths.
Police quickly stopped and arrested the 14-year-old. When searched, he was found to have what appeared to be a firearm. It was later discovered to be an airsoft revolver. He also had one can of bear spray.
He was taken into custody and faces a long list of charges.
Police also noticed that the 16-year-old boy they had dropped off at home earlier in the day was again with the group of youths. He was arrested and charged.
Both have since been released on condition not to attend the high school.
Inspector Paul Peddle, Officer in Charge of Portage RCMP, says they will not tolerate youths walking into school or around the community with any type of weapon.
“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.”