Youth charged with assault after student choked at Chicopee Hills Public School
Waterloo regional police have charged a youth after another student was allegedly choked and lost consciousness at a Kitchener public school.
Police originally said the students were playing a "tap out game" when the incident occurred around 1:40 p.m. on Tuesday.
However, a spokesperson for the Waterloo Regional Police Service said later Wednesday that the victim "was not a willing participant" in the game.
"WRPS wants to stress the seriousness of this incident and that this is not a game to us," an emailed statement from police said in part.
The victim lost consciousness and fell, hitting his head.
"Although this is a police investigation involving students, we want parents, families, and the wider community to know that the staff at Chicopee Hills Public School were very concerned for student safety and immediately called 911 to get medical assistance," an emailed statement from the Waterloo Region District School Board said. "Given the potential for serious injury, we hope that no other students will play the tap out game."
A spokesperson for the school board said the incident happened during a nutrition break. The break supervisor called 911 immediately.
“We were notified by a family member at about 3:45 p.m. and we began the investigation, which led to youth being charged under the Criminal Justice Act with those two charges,” said Cherri Greeno with the Waterloo Regional Police Service.
Paramedics took the victim to Grand River Hospital for treatment. The WRDSB spokesperson said the student has since been released from hospital.
One youth has been charged with assault causing bodily harm and strangulation under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
“This is cause for concern to see children taking part in such dangerous activities. Not only could it result in criminal charges, but it can result in serious physical injury causing death,” Greeno said. “We hope parents and caregivers can speak to their children about the dangers associated with this.”
The spokesperson for the school board said there are support staff available at the school for students who are experiencing trauma or difficulties.