Halloween in Delta this year was marked with assaults, injuries to both civilians and police officers, noise complaints and damage to property, according to Delta police.
As many as 400 youths and young adults took part in a large gathering in the area of South Delta Secondary School and Dennison Park in Tsawwassen, police say, at times developing “a crowd mentality where individual levels of responsibility evaporated,” according to a press release.
Police say the gathering was a deliberate attempt to damage property, cause disruption and impact public safety, noting enough fireworks were brought to the park to create a continuous disturbance lasting in excess of four hours.
“In previous years, throughout Delta, our officers typically saw Halloween celebrations of small groups and small amounts of fireworks. 2022 presented differently,” DPD Chief Neil Dubord said in a press release. “Last night our officers observed organized, deliberate attempts to do damage and cause disruption.”
The department has published video of the incident on YouTube to “demonstrate the disruption of this gathering.”
Police say fireworks were deliberately fired at youth and bystanders — including first responders who they say were intentionally targeted — and several assaults occurred, some of them deliberate acts involving fireworks.
Several youth were hurt during the gathering, including one who suffered significant burns to her upper arm and shoulder after she was struck by a firework and her jacket caught fire. Police have yet to identity the person responsible.
As well, two Delta police officers received minor injuries relating to Monday’s gathering.
Police say they have received reports of property damage, including to the sprinkler heads on the Dennison Park football field, and expect more as residents assess their homes.
The Delta Fire Department was called out to extinguish dumpster and bush fires in the area, which police say could have spread were it not for our recent rainy weather.
Police also received numerous noise complaints, and many more were posted to local social media pages.
The DPD are working with the Delta School District and City of Delta to further investigate the incident, and are asking anyone with digital media of the event or of the surrounding area to submit it to police to assist in identifying the offenders. Video can be uploaded to the DPD’s digital evidence portal at dpd.ca.evidence.com/axon/citizen/public/22-24806.
Police also received several complaints relating to youth gathering, mischief, fireworks and noise in North Delta and Ladner.
In one incident, a North Delta father supervising trick-or-treating youth was targeted by unknown youth in a bear-spray assault. This investigation is ongoing.
In another, a portable toilet was destroyed when it was blown up with fireworks.
In a third incident, a fire at the Mackie Park turf field was quickly extinguished by the Delta Fire Department.
Police say the cost of the damage is unknown at this time.