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Teen in custody after alleged assault

Jul 11 2012

A 16-year-old Port Alberni male is in custody after an alleged assault Monday night, which landed a 24-year-old man on life support.

"We still have the youth in custody," RCMP Cpl. Jen Allan said Tuesday afternoon. "The investigation is being updated and finalized, so no formal charges have been laid at this point."

The victim sustained serious head and facial injuries, including broken teeth. He left the hospital on Tuesday after being taken off of life support.

Port Alberni RCMP responded to a report of an assault at an apartment building on 10th Avenue, where they found the victim unconscious at 11: 30 p.m.

The youth suspect, who police say is the victim's nephew, was arrested shortly before 12: 30 a.m.

Police said the suspect fled the scene prior to their arrival. The victim and suspect had been drinking heavily together with others for several hours before they began physically fighting in the apartment. There was no evidence that weapons were involved.

"It appears that the incident began as a consensual fight between the two of them," said Allan. "The [suspect] got the upper hand and started assaulting the 24-year-old victim severely. Of course at that point, we have an understanding that the consent is withdrawn and then it enters into the criminal realm and is investigated as a criminal offence."

RCMP has recommended charges of aggravated assault to the Crown.

After an assessment at West Coast General Hospital, the victim was flown to Victoria General Hospital, where he was in the intensive care unit. He left the hospital on Tuesday.

"He was removed from life support and was able to breathe on his own, so he got up and walked out," Allan said.

asmart@timescolonist.com

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