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Canada

Ashcroft RCMP seeking group of children after boy assaulted near soccer tournament

Ashcroft RCMP is searching for a group of children after a four-year-old boy was assaulted over the weekend and sent to hospital with a leg injury.

According to RCMP Sgt. Kathleen Fitzgerald, a witness reported the assault to an off-duty police officer Sunday after spotting the incident a day earlier during a kids’ soccer tournament at the Ashcroft HUB Park.

“The complainant allegedly yelled at the children to stop, causing them to scatter from the area,” said Fitzgerald.

The victim, a four-year-old boy, was taken to hospital for a leg injury, though Fitzgerald wouldn’t elaborate on the severity of the injury citing privacy reasons. Police have remained in touch with the victim’s family.

It’s unknown if the children were participants in the tournament or if they were siblings of participants.

“Given the soccer tournament had participants from all over the surrounding area, we strongly believe that there may be witnesses who live outside the town of Ashcroft,” said Fitzgerald. “We are working hard to identify the children involved.”

Fitzgerald said police are looking for four youngsters, between the estimated ages of four and 10 years old.

Police haven’t yet spoken with tournament organizers but are hoping witnesses will come forward to help determine whether the kids are connected to the event and what occurred.

The South Cariboo Minor Soccer Association confirmed the incident happened on Saturday.

“There was an unfortunate incident involving a young boy who sustained an injury during an alleged altercation involving possibly four youth. This happened around 3-4 p.m. on the Saturday of our year-end tournament. The RCMP (is) investigating the matter at this time and if anyone has any information, no matter how small it may seem, please let the Ashcroft RCMP know,” said association president Lee Hand.

News of the police investigation has been circulated on a Facebook group for the South Cariboo Minor Soccer Association, with many individuals offering their support to the unidentified victim’s family. Another Facebook post indicated the victim may have broken a leg in the incident, though that remains unconfirmed.

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