An Abbotsford teen is clinging to life today (Monday) after having his head bashed with a baseball bat on Saturday.
The 17-year-old, whose name has not been released, is in critical condition and “really struggling,” said Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald.
The attack stemmed from a situation at a house where a private function was being held for students of Mennonite Educational Institute (MEI) Secondary and invited guests.
Ernie Janzen, superintendent of MEI private schools, confirmed in a written statement “… uninvited individuals arrived and an altercation occurred which some time later moved into the community, culminating in our student being injured.”
He said the school was “deeply saddened” and “the entire MEI community is concerned for his recovery and is praying for his well-being.”
MacDonald said six or seven uninvited people arrived just after midnight to the home on Sumas Prairie. They were wearing hoodies and/or masks, and deployed bear spray.
By the time police arrived, most of the party-goers had left, but a few guests were suffering the effects of the bear spray and were treated on scene. At about 1:45 a.m., police were called to Clearbrook Park – in the 3800 block of Clearbrook Road – where an altercation was taking place among some youths.
MacDonald said a 19-year-old man suffered head injuries from an attack with a baseball bat.
While police were dealing with that scene, a report came in that someone was being chased along Discovery Trail, part of which runs through Clearbrook Park.
Police came across a 17-year-old boy who had suffered severe head injuries, also from a baseball bat.
While officers were at hospital with the two injured parties, they discovered that another 17-year-old boy had been admitted with a superficial stab wound to his stomach. That assault occurred at the earlier private function, and the victim was treated and released from hospital.
The 19-year-old is in stable condition, and is expected to be released sometime this week, MacDonald said.
Meanwhile, police are having difficulty in piecing together exactly who was responsible for crashing the party and who was involved in the assaults. Although there were 50 witnesses among the three locations, “none have provided police with any useful information,” MacDonald said.
“Our working theory is that individuals at the party left to confront individuals who they felt were responsible for crashing the party … We know that people know what transpired.”
He said it appears the two sides – predominantly males aged 17 to 19 – have had a “long-standing dispute,” although he did not know the nature of their issues. Drugs and gangs are not involved, he added.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.