A 17-year-old boy from Stoney Creek has been hospitalized after being severely beaten in the head in the early hours on Saturday morning.
Brandon Lee Thomas-Flurer was found lying in bed with severe head injuries by members of his family, a short time after the incident on Saturday morning.
An ambulance along with Vanderhoof RCMP members attended and Thomas-Flurer was rushed to St. John Hospital.
After staff stabilized the teen, he was sent to the Prince George hospital for further treatment.
There were plans to transfer him to the Vancouver hospital due to the severity of his condition, but on Sunday he was stable enough to be sent back to St. John Hospital for recovery.
Staff-Sergent David Beach of the Vanderhoof RCMP said the attack was carried out by another 17-year-old youth who lives at Stoney Creek Reserve and who was known to police.
A warrant was issued for his arrest and he turned himself in to police on Monday just after noon. A bail hearing was expected to occur later the same day.
Sgt. Beach added that the two youths were friends.
He said the incident happened out on the street of the reserve but that the victim lived a short distance from where it happened and managed to get himself home afterwards.
On Sunday at 11 a.m., a peaceful rally was held at the Saik’uz Reserve Band office.
Many people from the community as well as representatives from a neighboring reserve attended the rally which was advertised on Facebook.
“It was some concerned band members that wanted to have a rally because they’re just tired of all the violent incidents that are happening here,” said Chief Jackie Thomas of Saik’uz First Nation.
There are just too many things happening that are not being resolved,” she said.
She added that many in the Saik’uz community are frustrated with the violent incidents that have happened at the reserve and remain unresolved. Others are scared, she said.
“About two years ago we had some young people break into an elders house and threaten him and he got burned and beaten up.
“About six years ago there was an actual death of one of our members that nobody has been formally charged with or convicted … and there was a home invasion about three weeks ago by some young people,” she said.
She added that the mother of the accused attacker, who attended the rally, sits on the band council and there were rumours that some in the community were calling for her resignation.
Three members of the Vanderhoof RCMP also attended.
Sgt. Beach said everyone sat in a healing circle and discussed their feelings about the tragic incident.
“It was very emotional at the beginning but once the healing circle got going it calmed everybody down and it was decided that there’s going to be a peaceful solution to the incident,” said Beach who attended the rally.
“They are going to deal with it peacefully and they are going to let the police handle it.”
“The community is going to help the police locate the fellow so we can arrest him and deal with him through the court system,” he told the Express on Monday morning, just before the suspect turned himelf in to the RCMP.
While RCMP are still investigating the events surrounding the incident, they believe that alcohol was involved. Beach could not confirm reports that a baseball bat was used in the incident but confirmed that there were running shoe foot marks on the face of the victim from where he had been kicked in the head. Thomas said the community will be holding events every week to try and come up with solutions to the violence at the reserve. The first one will be a potluck supper this Friday at the band office.
“We need to rebuild our community because there are old incidents that haven’t been resolved here and people are upset about that,” she said.
She added that Saik’uz First Nation will be looking to rebuild their relationship with the Vanderhoof RCMP.
“The RCMP are showing a real presence here now so we need to rebuild relations with them because a lot of people here don’t trust them,” she said. “We probably will invite them to our community events – we have in the past but they don’t show up usually.”
Thomas said she spoke with the victims parents on Monday morning who told here there would likely be some long term consequences from the head injuries he received during the attack.