Five Lethbridge teens charged after hazing

LETHBRIDGE, Canada – Lethbridge Regional Police have charged five 17-year-olds with assault, and further charges are pending, following a series of hazing incidents in the Lethbridge area.

Police are investigating more than 15 complaints of teenagers in Lethbridge and Coaldale being struck in the buttocks or legs with homemade paddles.

The paddles “are often made from cut off goalie sticks or canoe paddles. Homemade paddles have also been used. And as of September 11, we seized a homemade paddle that has nails sticking out of it,” said Cst. Mike Williamson.

The hazing incidents first came to police attention at the beginning of August and are “widespread within the community,” said Williamson.

Current charges are tied to a Sept. 9 incident where a group of 14-year-old boys were taken into an alley behind a business and assaulted by a group of older boys.

Three days later, police seized the homemade paddle with nails sticking out of it from a vehicle in a parking lot. The vehicle’s owner is one of the boys charged in the earlier incident.

News of the assault charges in Lethbridge comes as 17 students from a central Alberta high school were expelled for a mass hazing there. Full story.

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