'Disturbing' attack near school leads to 4 arrests
Published Monday, May 14, 2018 6:31PM EDT
Four people are facing charges in connection with an alleged assault which was captured on video by a witness.
Justin Kawecki, 17, was attacked Friday afternoon while walking on Battler Road in Kitchener’s south end, steps off the property of Huron Heights Secondary School.
Kawecki’s grandfather, Kent Bowyer, says the boy called his mother during the attack and yelled out where he was. Hearing what was happening, he says, the mother called him – knowing he lived nearby.
“My daughter phoned me in hysterics. All she said was ‘He’s being beaten,’” Bowyer said Monday.
Bowyer showed up to find that the attackers had left and his grandson had been loaded into an ambulance. Kawecki was taken to hospital. Two days later, he suffered a seizure. He is now at home recovering.
Police said Monday that three boys and one girl had been arrested in connection with the attack and robbery. Insp. Mike Haffner said information posted to social media provided key clues for investigators.
A video posted to social media showed the attack, in which Kawecki was punched in the head several times.
Kawecki’s father calls the social media aspect of the incident a “double-edged sword” – positive because it helped police arrest the alleged attackers and created a groundswell of support for his son, and negative because of the possibility the video could in some way glorify the attack to some people.
“It’s very disturbing. It’s hard to watch. It’s heartbreaking,” said Robert Kawecki.
“No one deserves to be beaten – assaulted – like this.”
Officials with the Waterloo Region District School Board say they are investigating the attack themselves, and students involved in it could potentially be suspended or expelled depending on the outcome of that investigation.
With reporting by Nicole Lampa