Alleged drug debt sparks group beating

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Seven young men are facing charges stemming from a beating over drugs last week.

The seven young men can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, but each faces a single count of assault causing bodily harm.

Last Wednesday, shortly after 9 p.m. police received a call from some residents who were helping a 19-year-old man who had just been attacked.

Police came to the area near the Grandin clubhouse and their investigation revealed the attack was over an apparent drug debt, said Const. Janice Schoepp of the St. Albert RCMP.

“The victim went to make a purchase of some drugs and then it was discovered that his friend owed some money to these people,” Schoepp said.

The residents waited with the young man until an ambulance arrived to take him to hospital. The man’s injuries were not life threatening and he was released from hospital later that evening, Schoepp said.

“He sustained some injuries to his head and upper back, because basically he turtled and then they kicked him,” she said.

The investigation quickly took officers to a nearby home where the seven boys were found and arrested.

The seven will make their first court appearance on Aug. 2. They will be bound by a series of strict bail conditions until at least that date. Those conditions include a requirement they not have any contact with the victim and to abstain from alcohol and drugs. They are also bound by a daily curfew of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

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