WARNING: This article contains details of an attempted sexual assault and may affect those who have experienced sexual violence or know someone affected by it.
RCMP say their officers faced a barrage of abuse Saturday when they arrived at a party attended by hundreds of youth in East St. Paul, a community just outside of Winnipeg.
Mounties started getting calls around 10 p.m. about a large party, attended mostly by youth, at a home on Saddleridge Lane, a Monday news release said.
When officers arrived, around 70 intoxicated youth swarmed them, the release said. The party-goers also jumped on two RCMP vehicles, kicking in a windshield on one and damaging the roof and hood of another.
Videos of some party-goers jumping on top of a police vehicle were shared on social media.
It soon became clear there were far more youth at the party than the ones who initially swarmed police, RCMP said. Mounties estimate there were several hundred people at the party.
WATCH | Social media footage of intoxicated youth at party in East St. Paul:
Some officers responding to the incident who are people of colour were called racial slurs, RCMP said. Others were spit on, and police said some of the crowd launched fireworks at their vehicles.
Police said many of the party attendees were heavily intoxicated and “excessive drug use” was also apparent.
Officers from Selkirk, Oakbank and other RCMP units as well as the Winnipeg Police Service responded as backup. No police were injured, the release said.
Mounties also intervened in an attempted sexual assault when they saw an intoxicated female youth being dragged into an adjacent bush, where two male youths tried to sexually assault her, the release said.
The female youth was taken to hospital with serious injuries, while the two male youths took off when officers intervened, RCMP said.
Police said they’re concerned there could have been more victims of crime that evening.
Mounties said the owner of the home used for the party wasn’t in Manitoba and has been co-operating with police.
“What occurred on Saturday and what our officers faced is unacceptable. The level of violence and the racist language directed at responding police officers is beyond disturbing,” Supt. John Duff said in the release.
“Be assured that we are reviewing video and audio captured by our police vehicles as well as the videos posted to social media. We will hold people accountable for their actions.”
‘They were everywhere’: neighbour
One person who lives in the area said he got home shortly after 11 p.m. that night, and the first warning sign came when he and his daughter saw 40 young people getting off a bus at the last stop on Henderson Highway.
“We thought, ‘OK, there’s a big party somewhere,’” Jason, whose last name CBC News has agreed not to publish, said on Monday.
When they turned the corner into their neighbourhood, Jason said there were 20 police vehicles on the block and hundreds of party-goers.
“They were everywhere. They were in the bushes,” he said, adding that his home surveillance caught footage of police chasing people through his yard.
“It actually wasn’t loud music playing — it was just a mob of kids.”
Jason said he learned that the house where the party happened had been sold and the new owners were supposed to move in soon. The next morning, he said he spoke with the son of the outgoing homeowner, who apologized and said he was the one who initially called police.
“He started getting messages on social media that there was a party at his old house,” said Jason, adding that he was told the drywall and hardwood floors were damaged on the inside of the house.
“I don’t think any of those kids are inherently bad,” he said. “Peer pressure is a crazy thing.”
Anyone with information regarding the event, or who were a victim of a crime that night, are asked to call the Red River North RCMP Detachment at 204-482-1222, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 or leave a secure tip online at manitobacrimestoppers.com.
WATCH | Officers swarmed, assaulted as hundreds party in East St. Paul:
Support is available for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access crisis lines and local support services through this Government of Canada website or the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. If you’re in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911.