The Lethbridge Police Service has charged six individuals in connection with two separate incidents of violence and threats of violence involving a group of young adults and minors.
Both incidents occurred within a two-week span in the area of two city skate parks, with two adults and four minors charged in total. The investigation is ongoing and further charges may be pending.
The first incident occurred back on Aug. 12, 2021, when LPS responded to a report of a robbery at the SLP Skate Park on Mayor Magrath Drive South. The second occurred on Aug. 25, 2021, when police responded to a report of several people with weapons in the parking lot near the Legacy Regional Park skate park on the northside.
Once on scene at Legacy Park, officers learned a 16-year-old male had been forced into a vehicle by several other males, who demanded information about another youth they were looking for. A pellet gun was used to intimidate the victim.
Following the investigation, members of the LPS Crime Suppression Team arrested four males in connection with the Legacy park incident including two 16-year-olds, a 17-year-old, and 18-year-old Royer Sopal Caldera.
All have been charged with kidnapping with a firearm, extortion using a firearm and assault with a weapon. One of the 16-year-olds received an additional charge of disguised with the intent of committing an indictable offence.
During the investigation, the CST determined that both Caldera and one of the 16-year-olds were also involved in the earlier incident at the SLP Skate Park. Police then were also able to identify and arrest another 17-year-old as well as 18-year-old Denis Mehmeti with all four charged with robbery and intimidation.
Acting Sgt. with the Criminal Investigation Division, Pete Christos, says skate parks aren’t usually a place you associate with criminal activity.
The identity of the minors cannot be released. All individuals have been released from custody on a bail hearing, with several conditions they must abide by.