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Youths arrested in assaults on Vic High, Lansdowne students

In the Vic High incident, three youths were pepper-sprayed while taking part in an off-campus activity, while the Lansdowne case involved a youth assaulting another youth on school grounds
The Vic High students were with their class about 1 p.m. Monday at the corner of Grant Street and Fernwood Avenue when they were pepper-sprayed. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

A youth was arrested after three Victoria High School students were hit with pepper spray on Monday afternoon while taking part in an off-campus activity with their class.

The spraying occurred about 1 p.m., at the corner of Grant Street and Fernwood Avenue.

“The students exposed received minor medical attention and are physically well,” the Greater Victoria School District said in a statement.

Victoria police said the youth who was arrested has since been released with a court date.

There was no word on any connection between the suspect and the school.

“The file is still under investigation, charges have not yet been sworn and we don’t have further details to share at this time,” police said in a statement.

In a second incident this week, a youth went onto the grounds at Lansdowne Middle School about 10 a.m. Tuesday and assaulted another youth.

Saanich police Insp. Damian Kowalewich said a suspect was arrested Tuesday night and has been charged with assault and being disguised with intent. The suspect was released on conditions that include staying away from the school.

Police have offered support to the victim, Kowalewich said. “There are no serious injuries, however we know that psychological injuries can accompany these incidents.”

Victoria and Esquimalt have seen a string of incidents involving youth and pepper spray in recent weeks.

Two youths were pepper sprayed in the downtown area in May.

Surveillance video released to the public showed one of the youths being taken down and kicked by three people.

That case came two days after police announced additional patrols in Esquimalt to deal with assaults and pepper-spraying incidents involving youth on two weekends in a row.

The first reported case was an assault during Buccaneer Days at an Esquimalt Road bus stop in which a man with a cane was pushed down.

Later that same evening, a woman in a mobility scooter was pepper-sprayed in the area of Esquimalt and Dunsmuir roads.

Some of the youths connected to the Esquimalt incidents were from neighbouring municipalities, police said.

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