A three-month investigation into an alleged head stomp during a lacrosse game has ended with RCMP recommending assault charges against a 15-year-old Kelowna boy.
Patrick Rose, the father of the injured teen, told The Daily News on Wednesday that he hopes Crown prosecutors side with police. He thought all along that the youth who injured his son, Blake Rose, 15, deserves to be charged.
"I'm smiling a little bit," said Rose. "When Crown agrees with the cops, I will smile a whole bunch."
The RCMP's investigation concluded at the end of September. Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said it's up to Crown prosecutors to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed with a single charge of common assault against the player.
"Our role in this is to collect all the information available from all the difference sources," said Learned.
In this case, the sources were the officials, spectators, coaches and players who gathered at Memorial Arena in Kamloops on June 26 for the showdown between the Kamloops Rattlers and the Kodiaks.
Officers assigned to the case interviewed up to 50 witnesses. Learned said it's their accounts that suggest the violent encounter took place outside the realm of play.
That fits with what Rose saw. He said Blake was twice cross-checked and knocked off his feet by the Kelowna player. He said his son was struck from behind.
"I'm glad (the police) agreed to that too," said Rose.
The Kelowna player allegedly stood over Blake for several seconds, then stomped on his head, said Learned. The player was ejected from the game. Blake was triaged at the arena for a suspected broken neck and taken to Royal Inland Hospital.
None of Blake's bones were broken. But he suffered severe strains to his muscles and ligaments in his neck and a concussion.
As for the Kodiak's player, the Kelowna Minor Lacrosse Association and the Thompson/Okanagan Mainline Lacrosse Commission suspended him indefinitely pending the outcome of the RCMP investigation.
Rose said Blake is on the mend. His son is a goalie with a Kamloops midget Tier 3 hockey team and intends to play lacrosse again.
"It's gives him lots of time to heal," he said.