Canada: Ottawa police discharge pepper spray, arrest boy at Glowfair Friday night - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaOttawa police discharge pepper spray, arrest boy at Glowfair Friday night

21:25  15 june  2019
21:25  15 june  2019 Source:   ottawacitizen.com

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Ottawa police discharge pepper spray, arrest boy at Glowfair Friday night © Provided by PostMedia Digital

The head of the Bank Street BIA says she’s rethinking the future of the Glowfair Festival after Ottawa police arrested one boy and discharged pepper spray onto a group of teenagers that “came down like a swarm of bees” during the Bank Street event Friday night.

“What I heard through my team is that it was a group of kids who were being very aggressive with other kids in the area who were attending the festival,” said Christine Leadman, executive director of the Downtown Bank BIA, which organizes the free Centretown music festival taking place Friday and Saturday.

“It just takes a couple of hotheads to push, shove, grab, attempt to take things. I think that’s generally the case. What they do is try to take cellphones and other things. And it just escalates.”

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The lawsuit says police discharged pepper - spray in “supersoaks.” Frisbie-Fulton and her son tried to escape the spraying , but AS was knocked back into In a video along with the complaint, police can be seen discharging canisters of pepper spray at protesters. As the video tracked the chaotic scene

“She pepper sprayed me, I couldn’t see anything,” the woman said. “It really sucked because I Surveillance image of the woman police are looking for in connection to Friday ’s pepper spray The suspect allegedly sprayed five people while walking westbound on 125th Street towards St. Nicholas

Ottawa police Staff Sgt. Martin Groulx said a 17-year-old boy was arrested Friday for allegedly attempting to disarm an officer at the event.

Groulx said the incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. as police tried to control a large crowd on Bank Street, and an officer pulled out his baton.

“The crowd was tightening on the officer, and verbal commands were used but not complied with, and that’s why it escalated,” said Groulx. The teen allegedly tried to disarm the officer holding the baton, and police deployed pepper spray in response. No one was struck with the baton, Groulx said.

Teen never tried to disarm police officer, witness says

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Charges are pending. The boy was arrested, and released with a promise to appear in court.

Ottawa police discharge pepper spray, arrest boy at Glowfair Friday night © Alison Mah Ottawa police in the crowd at the Glowfair Festival on Friday, June 14, after officers discharged pepper spray onto a group of teens.

Festival attendee Ming Wu said he saw a large fight around 8:40 p.m., as a group of boys kicked and punched another boy between Lewis and James streets. It’s not clear whether this confrontation precipitated the pepper-spray incident.

It was shocking to see,” Wu said. “ So many kids were running, and the police tried to stop it.

“I was like, what the hell is going on? I’ve never seen this at all during Glowfair.”

Several festival goers also took to social media to voice their displeasure with security at the event Friday.

“Hey , how about you ramp up trained security personnel on Bank before the youths all kill each other? The kind of chaos seen downtown today is not safe for anyone. Get it together,” tweeted Ottawa Showbox, a local music blog.

Girl, 13, charged with assaulting police officer at Glowfair

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Another man tweeted that his son was jumped at the festival after he intervened in the attempted theft of his friend’s bag.

“Not a police or security in sight — very disappointed at security for this event — not fun and not safe,” said user @Brad_Pye_Ottawa.

A recent security issue with festivals in Ottawa is the “gangs of kids who roam from area to area, festival to festival, and they’re disruptive on purpose,” said Leadman.

“You can’t predict where they are over 10 city blocks. It’s not localized to this event. This has been happening for the last couple years now at different events throughout the city. It’s the same group.”

Leadman said Glowfair has “quite a bit of security,” including patrols and police deployed throughout the festival. Police decide whether more security personnel and officers need to be called in, as they were Friday night.

“To me, this is an issue police need to be dealing with in terms of getting the kids who are doing this, because they’re targeting events as well. It can’t be our responsibility when infiltrators come in purposefully to be disruptive.”

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Leadman said difficult incidents like this make her rethink the future of Glowfair.

“It’s an unfortunate situation that people like this make it difficult for festival operators to hold an event for the community and broader tourism market,” she said. “It just makes you rethink what you’re doing. And people talk about this city being the town that fun forgot. Well, there’s a reason for it.

“Other people said it was great and they didn’t have any issues. But there was that one incident where these kids came down like a swarm of bees and all of a sudden it happened. It’s certainly something we have to reconsider as to what we do in the future in terms of even holding the event, because as a festival organizer, these are liabilities that we don’t want to take on.

“And if the police in the city can’t deal with it overall, even when they’re dedicated to the site, then they have a bigger problem. Every year, our policing and security costs just keep going up, up, up. So it’s not sustainable for us to continue that.”

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twitter.com/alisonmah

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