Police investigate stabbing at Vernon bush party
Vernon RCMP are urging parents to be aware of their teenagers’ social activities following a stabbing at a weekend bush party.
A Vernon male, whose identity and age have not been released by police, suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries after being stabbed while attending a party near Becker Lake off Noble Canyon Road at 3:30 a.m. Sunday.
Police have also not indicated where on his body the male was stabbed.
“The victim was driven out from the party by friends and they met an ambulance at Highway 6,” said RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk on Monday.
Estimates of people at the bush party, which began Saturday evening, range from 100 to 300, including several adults.
Police said party-goers were still coming out from the event at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.
Molendyk said police became aware of the bush party through social media, and set up traffic enforcement on Highway 6 to intercept individuals heading to the party.
“Thirty-five vehicles were stopped that were being driven by young adults and teens,” he said. “We conveyed safety warnings to those going up to the party and to their parents.”
Seven violation tickets and six warnings, all for liquor-related infractions, were issued.
There was one big seizure at the road check. Police found inside a Hello Kitty bag what Molendyk termed “a substantial quantity of individually packaged illicit drugs for sale.”
This included 200 grams of marijuana and six grams of crystal meth.
A 19-year-old Vernon man is under investigation for possession for the purpose of trafficking a controlled substance.
The weekend party, said Molendyk, “is the start of the outdoor party season,” though he added there is nothing to indicate the party is a grad event related to any of the area’s secondary schools.
With that in mind, police are reminding parents to pay close attention to their teenage children’s social activities.
“These parties are not an innocent group of teens going out and having a good time,” said Molendyk. “They are not controlled by any stretch of the imagination, and there are no immediate first aid rooms available to deal with any first aid issues that may come up.
“There is a chance your teenage children are going to face individuals who plan to take advantage of them with drugs or alcohol. And for young women attending these events, it’s even worse with the possibility of sexual assault.”
Police encourage those who plan to attend outdoor bush parties to have a sober person look out for them and to get them home safely. Plan this before you leave for the party, and not after having ingested alcohol or drugs.
At this time of year, hypothermia is also a big factor to consider.
Molendyk said the police can not stop people from attending parties like the one on a weekend, which was held in a public access area off a forest service road.
All they can do, he said, is advise and caution parents.
“When you have 300 individuals, from teens to people in their early 20s who are under the influence, in an uncontrolled situation, one of these days we’re going to have a very serious incident, and I’m talking sexual assault or death,” he said. “This is a very serious incident. I’m convinced that at these parties, there are sexual assaults that go unreported.”
Molendyk said the victim was under the influence and police have spoken to him once. Police have also obtained the names of a few people that were close to and around the victim at the time of the stabbing, and will be speaking with those individuals.
The victim underwent surgery following the stabbing and remains in Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
Anybody with any information on the stabbing or knows those who were involved is asked to call the Vernon detachment at 250-545-7171, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.