Port Moody police step up Sasamat Lake patrols after rowdy weekend

Following last weekend’s rowdy behaviour by a large group of teenagers, police in Port Moody say they’ll be stepping up patrols for the next few months at a popular hot spot.

There were chaotic scenes at Sasamat Lake last weekend, according to the Port Moody Police Department.

It says officers responded to multiple weapons calls. There were also reports of public intoxication, impaired driving, and one teen was shot multiple times with a BB gun and then pepper-sprayed after asking a group of others to stop throwing bottles in the water.

Beginning this long weekend, PMPD Const. Sam Zacharias says you’ll see more officers on foot and on bikes.

“The extra resources are basically based on the weather,” he told CityNews. “We tend to send more resources up there on nicer days and also typically on weekends and evenings.”

“One of the things we’re reminding folks is that if they’re coming up to the lake leave the alcohol at home. That’s prohibited up at the lake.”

He adds traffic was also a mess last weekend as there’s limited parking.

“If you’re going to drive, come early in the morning. Also, if you’re going to be taking transit, make sure you actually plan a trip to and from the lake and make sure there are buses running. That was one of the issues we ran into this past weekend, was that some of the kids that had gone up on Friday night didn’t realize there was no bus service.

“So, we actually worked with TransLink, which brought up a bus specifically for the lake to bring those youth out of the area and transport them to a nearby SkyTrain station.”

Zacharias says they’re being called up sooner than usual this spring.

“It’s a little bit like Groundhog Day because we do see a lot of these same issues year in, year out. I will say this is certainly earlier than most because we’re only halfway through May and we’re already experiencing some of these issues. But these issues aren’t necessarily new to the lake. We tend to see overall disorder in the summer months.”

He believes last Friday was an unsanctioned “skip day” for some local high schools.

“Even around lunchtime on Friday, we were evicting them from the lake.”

Zacharias points out that the teens last week were predominantly in Grades 9 to 12.

“The vast majority of people who come to this lake are law-abiding, they’re following the rules, they’re families and that’s what our focus is. We want this lake and this park to be accessible for all, inclusive for all and we want folks to feel safe.”

He’s pleading with the public to call them if you see anything suspicious and says anyone caught with booze will be forced to pour it out and potentially face a $230 fine. Those people will also be removed from the lake.