Port Moody police call in bus to transport drunk teens as officers deal with busy weekend at Sasamat Lake

There were no shortages of incidents at Sasamat Lake over the weekend, with Port Moody police saying “alcohol and unsupervised youths” kept them quite busy.

On Friday, May 10, police say they received reports that a minor had been pepper sprayed at the main beach just before 7 p.m. Both the victim and suspect had left the area before officers arrived.

That same night, police say they also had to deal with “hundreds of intoxicated youth” who reportedly were blocking Bedwell Bay Road. In some cases, the minors were trying to hail rides from strangers, Const. Sam Zacharias says, noting they had not planned a safe ride home.

“We actually had to request assistance from TransLink to bring up a bus to the scene. They were able to transport those youths back to a nearby transit station,” Zacharias told CityNews.

“It was certainly a very great partnership with TransLink to be nimble and bring that bus up there because, like I said, we had in excess of hundreds of youth who were stranded up at the lake and we needed to get them somewhere safe.”

The following day, police say they received reports that a boy had been shot with a BB gun and pepper sprayed. The boy was treated at the scene.

“That one was over an altercation. Apparently some youths were observed throwing glass bottles into the lake and someone confronted them, and that’s when a BB gun assault took place,” explained Zacharias. “It was, relatively speaking, random [among] strangers. Certainly really concerning behaviour, not what we want to have up at the lake. This is supposed to be a family-friendly atmosphere.”

Officers say they also dealt with major gridlock, as well as impaired driving in the area.

Police are reminding beachgoers that alcohol is not permitted at Sasamat Lake. Zacharias says anyone caught with open liquor could face fines of $230, be ejected from the park, and see their alcohol poured out.

“The common theme here that we’re seeing is … unsupervised youth and alcohol up at the lake are causing a lot of issues. It’s not something that’s necessarily new for us. To be honest, it’s like groundhog day, we’re dealing with this every summer. But this weekend was particularly bad. We just want folks in the community to be aware of these issues, and hopefully parents get the message that these are some of the issues happening up at the lake,” Zacharias said.

“We really want to stress that folks should not be bringing liquor to this park, this is not the place for it. As far as weapons go, of course there’s no need to be bringing weapons to Sasamat Lake. If you’re found in possession of a weapon, you could be arrested under the Criminal Code and you’re definitely going to be removed from the lake for the day.”

Police say they will be increasing patrols at the popular lake, with warmer weather setting in.

-With files from Maria Vinca

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