Brawl near the mall: Knife and replica gun seized in Coquitlam

Weapons were seized and a number of teenagers went to the hospital following a brawl early Sunday morning along Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam.

Police say they about a dozen people ranging in age from 14 to 18 were involved in the fight, which occurred across the street from Coquitlam Centre at around 2:30 a.m.. So far, none of the young people are cooperating with investigators, who are still trying to determine what sparked the incident.

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"At least some of the suspects are known to police," said Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Michael McLaughlin. "We believe all parties are known to each other. This is not random, however it is not the result of organized gang activity."

Some of those involved in the incident drove themselves to the hospital for treatment after someone discharged pepper spray. Police said they arrested six people, all from the Tri-Cities, and seized a knife, a baton and a replica firearm.

Drivers saw the brawl happening and several called 911. Police are still investigating but McLaughlin said given the lack of cooperation and the fact only minor injuries stemmed from the fight, it could be difficult to proceed with charges.

"When you have a group that isn't being cooperative, it is difficult to do that," he said, later adding: "It limits what we can do in terms of our response."

This is not the first time in the last few months that police have responded to an incident involving teenagers and pepper spray. In October, a16-year-old was arrested and charged with assault after allegedly discharging a can of bear spray at Terry Fox secondary school in Port Coquitlam. In that case, School District 43 officials said no one was injured but an ambulance was called as a precaution.

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