What happened to a woman who said she avoided an “attempted carjacking” on the weekend may be a little less sinister than what was first described, according to the Regina Police Service.
On Saturday night, Jen Gibson said she stopped her vehicle on 4th Avenue to let a group of men cross, but they surrounded her car and tried to get in. She got away, and called police.
Later that night police confronted a group in the area that had allegedly been causing problems, and arrested three teens.
The Regina Police Service didn’t let the public know about what happened until asked by media. Superintendent Corey Zaharuk said that was because they responded and arrested the people they believe were responsible, so they didn’t have any immediate concerns.
“Basically, by responding to these disruptive males in the neighbourhood, we felt confident that we responded accordingly to the disturbance that they were creating.”
Zaharuk said on Tuesday police do believe the group that was confronted was the group responsible for what happened to Gibson, but that they don’t know it was an attempted carjacking at all.
“We don’t have enough information to say that this was an attempted robbery or an attempt to get into a vehicle.”
Zaharuk said if they were trying to get into the car, the attempt was minimal.
Based on everything that happened that night, Zaharuk explained the police believe the group was just out to cause a disturbance.
Gibson said the teens were flashing gang signs, and that she was told by a police officer it may have been a gang initiation. Without responding to what an officer may have told Gibson, Zaharuk said they don’t have evidence of that.
“Young men have been known to do this kind of thing before, where they’re somewhat disruptive late at night, some of them had been drinking. So to make the leap and say that this is a gang initiation, there’s just not enough information to suggest anything like that.”
The Regina Police Service isn’t saying the incident didn’t happen, but that the situation around it might be a little more tame than was first reported.
Zaharuk suggested that people not take to Facebook when they are, or perceive that they are, the victim of a crime.
“There are often consequences, or unintended consequences, posting one side of the story. It really requires people to sit back and think before they get on that keyboard.”
Zaharuk said retaliation can be a concern, though there’s no info to suggest that in this case.
He explained that social media is becoming an increasing concern for the police service, that inaccurate information can start a conversation, and then police have to pick up the pieces.