Party a smash
Yk Cab owner fuming after attack

Mike W. Bryant
Northern News Services

Yellowknife ( May 26/00) - A local cab company owner was left fuming after a bush party turned ugly over the long weekend.

According to John Dalton, owner of Yk Cabs Ltd., his Chrysler mini-van sustained over $2,000 in damages after he drove out to a bush party on the Vee Lake road to pick up a fare and was assaulted by a mob of up to 50 youth.

"The kids surrounded us. One kid was right in my face, cursing and swearing at me. Saying for me to go away and that they were going to get him the next day" -- Taxi company owner John Dalton.

The party took place last Sunday night, following graduation ceremonies for Sir John Franklin high school students Friday and Saturday.

"We had a call to go pick someone up on Vee Lake road," Dalton said.

"There were at least 75 cars and 300 to 400 kids out there. I got out to ask where this person was ... a young lad came running with a mob of 50 kids after him."

While the young man was attempting to enter the cab, Dalton said that the scene quickly turned violent, as intoxicated youths circled the van and attempted to pull his passenger from the vehicle.

"We had students literally trying to get through the window after him," Dalton said. "The kids surrounded us. One kid was right in my face, cursing and swearing at me. Saying for me to go away and that they were going to get him the next day."

Dalton also said that some of the youth were behaving so aggressively that he himself was kicked and shoved while trying to climb back into the van. He said that he felt his passenger was lucky to escape without serious injury.

"I feel that if they got him, because of their numbers and their intent of even going after me, he would have been seriously injured," Dalton said.

Damages to his van included a cracked windshield, broken tail lights, scrapes and dents along the sides of the vehicle and a smashed-out rear window caused by a beer bottle hurtled at the van as he tried to leave.

Dalton estimates that the van will be out of service for at least four days.

"The thing that I find most disturbing is that there were so many kids out there," Dalton said.

"Where was the accountability of the parents with that many kids out there drinking with vehicles?"

"I recognized a lot of the kids from town. A lot of kids weren't from the graduating class.

"There were kids from 15 up from both schools (Sir John and St. Patrick high schools), and now maybe it's time -- if there are these parties this time of year, then maybe the students themselves should show more control over their own event, and not have a wide, out-of-control bush party."

Principal for Sir John Franklin high school Mieke Cameron said that she was shocked and saddened to discover that the party took place, and that it turned violent.

"I'm shocked," Cameron said.

"We've done our level best to make graduation meaningful and a time to celebrate with pride.

"I'm just sad that the actions of a few people will cast graduation in a bad light. We'll have to look at the whole idea of graduation (ceremonies) in the future."

Sgt. Al McCambridge of the RCMP said that no charges have been laid as of yet and that the matter is still under investigation.