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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Fri, December 17, 2004


'Out of control'

CHIEF FANTINO RIPS YOUTH 'PACK MENTALITY' THAT'S LEFT 3 TEENS DEAD IN LAST 2 WEEKS

By BRIAN GRAY AND JASON TCHIR, TORONTO SUN




THE YOUNG people responsible for the wave of swarmings and violent attacks that have left three GTA teens dead in two weeks are "out of control and accountable to no one," Toronto's police chief said last night. "Counting the bodies as we do is simply not adequate," Julian Fantino said last night after a community meeting at East York Collegiate Institute, the school Drew Stewart attended before his death at the hands of a youth mob.

"We have to find out why, at the most minor confrontation, weapons are brought out. Why there's this pack mentality," Fantino said, stressing that the large majority of kids are still hardworking, upstanding citizens who do not deserve to be "blackballed."

"But there's an element of young people that are, in fact, out of control and accountable to no one," Fantino said.

"And there is a distorted value system among them that says coming forward (to police or their parents) is not cool."

The chief spoke just hours after a mob of at least 30 teens armed with rakes, golf clubs, sticks and baseball bats attacked six students behind a Scarborough high school.

Three of the students were taken to Scarborough Grace hospital after the 1:46 p.m. attack in a large wooded area behind the Finch Ave. and Brimley Rd. school. Their injuries were not life threatening.

"We've never had anything like this happen before," said Francis Libermann Catholic high school principal Tracey Parish. "It's unbelievable."

Toronto Catholic District School Board spokesman Emmy Milne said the six students, all in Grades 10 and 11, were returning from lunch when they were swarmed.

"They were off school property but they were assaulted by a large group of young people, and at this point, it's not clear where these young people are from," Milne said.

The rest of the students were dismissed early for the day while police searched the area.

The York Region Police helicopter searched the woods while patrols scoured teen hangouts and Internet cafes for suspects. Investigators said there have been no arrests.

The attack came 24 hours after an unrelated swarming in Brampton on Wednesday in which two teens were stabbed and another bludgeoned.

Between 10 and 15 teens attacked the three victims -- two age 18 and another age 17. The victims are listed in stable condition and their injuries are not life-threatening, said Peel Regional Police.

STABBED

Police arrested four teen suspects and are still searching for at least six others.

Other altercations this month proved deadly.

Tanner Hopkins, 18, was stabbed to death just after 1 a.m. on Saturday when he attempted to eject two uninvited guests from his younger brother's house party.

Earlier Saturday night, Nabil Saleh, 19, died after being stabbed during an argument in a College St. and Spadina Ave. nightclub.

Brad Fraser, 18, was shot to death last Friday in his basement apartment in an Oshawa roominghouse. Police charged a man in the shooting, which they say was the result of a home-invasion robbery.

Drew Stewart, 16, was fatally stabbed Dec. 3 while trying to stop a group of teens assaulting a pregnant pal.

"There's an element of young people out here who seem to be very much into crime and violence," he said.

But Fantino stressed the vast majority of teens are good, hardworking citizens.



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