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posted August 17, 2007

Police Warn Of Park Swarmings

Thursday August 16, 2007 Staff

A man sitting on a park bench enjoying an ice cream on a warm summer night is suddenly attacked by a swarm of young thugs. He's kicked and punched until he's unconscious. That's just one of nine recent accounts of people being assaulted and robbed by a gang of roving hooligans in local parks, most notably in the west end.

One mother relays the disturbing tale of how her 16-year-old son and his friend were preyed upon by the gang.

"My son called me frantic, that he and his friends were, the term he used was "jacked," explains Sandra, who didn't want her last name used. "He and his friends had gone to Christie Pits to go swimming."

"It's sad to see young people turning to crime and thinking they'll get something out of it," she adds. "Basically there's not very much money they got from these kids, they took cell phones and I.D., stuff like that. To what end?"

Police say the attacks take place after sunset and they're warning people to be on guard.

"They blitz-attacked victims and took from them iPods, cell phones, cash," explains Det. Sean Genovy.

Two victims had to be taken to hospital and police believe the gang members range in age from late teens to early 20's. In some attacks, there have been as many as 13 of them.

"Incidences have occurred on Bloor, specifically Christie Pits Park and one or two occurrences in Bickford Park and one in Dufferin Grove Park," reveals Genovy.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the 14 Division Major Crime Unit at 416−808−1400, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416−222−TIPS (8477)

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