An arrest was made this past weekend following reports of an assault in Coquitlam's Town Centre Park.
In a statement to Tri-City News, RCMP confirms officers attended the local park early Saturday evening (July 3) and one person was arrested following a confrontation between two adults.
Const. Deanna Law adds an assault charge has been sent to Crown counsel for consideration and is aware of the allegations that led to the call.
TEEN ALLEGEDLY 'SUCKER PUNCHED' BY ADULT
As RCMP investigates the assault charge, witnesses claim a youth was also assaulted by an adult near the Town Centre Splash Pad.
In emails to the Tri-City News and a post that circulated on social media from the weekend — which has since been taken down — residents say they saw a confrontation that involved a group of adults, but also claim a Caucasian woman was seen punching an Asian teen in the side of his head.
According to one person's testimony, the events that led to the alleged incident began when they observed two young boys with water guns shooting at people around the park, most of whom didn't have water guns themselves.
The person claims they saw the boys only shooting water at BIPOC children (Black, Indigenous, people of colour).
After explaining that the boys were then seen continuously targeting an Asian teen, who then asked to talk to their parents, the post goes on to say the boys stopped shooting water and led him to their parents.
"The boy tried to explain what was happening to the group of Caucasian parents about 6-8 of them," the post alleges. "From a distance, I observed with my children close to me and heard, 'It's only water! What don't you understand? What's wrong with you? It's only water.' Repeatedly and laced with racist implications."
The person then alleges, "out of nowhere," a woman "sucker punched" the Asian teen, leading to a heated confrontation while several others surrounded the boy and pulled him away from the crowd.
If the allegations are true and the assault was racially motivated, one organization says it counts as a hate crime.
"Parents have moral responsibilities to teach their children not to be racist," says Doris Mah, co-founder of Stand with Asians Coalition, in a statement.
"Racism is a learnt behaviour. Children learn and model behaviours from peers and adults. We must teach our next generations the values of respect and equality for all people. Racism has no place in our community. I hope the Coquitlam police will find the suspect and lay charges."
The post adds police were eventually called and as they arrived, the crowd started "packing up" and "scattered" away from the park with their children.
POLICE SAY INVESTIGATION IS ONGOING
While the RCMP tells Tri-City News they're aware of the above allegations, Law says the assault charge "that occurred between two adults is being investigated" at this time.
She adds no other information is being released as the file remains in its early stages.
However, Law says more charges could potentially be on the table as Mounties continue to investigate.