The party invitation was posted on social media and spread like wildfire among Ottawa’s teenagers, hundreds of whom descended on a house in Kanata’s Bridlewood neighborhood Tuesday in search of fun on a hot summer night.
But around 9 p.m. the party turned violent when a 15-year-old boy was stabbed, and as panicked youngsters fled the scene the mayhem spilled out onto Cedar Valley Drive.
CBC News spoke with six teenagers between the ages of 13 and 16 who saw the party invitation posted on the mobile app Snapchat. Three of the teens attended the party while the others saw photos and videos of what happened.
The teens, who didn’t want to be named, told CBC the original party invitation came from someone named Ashkon, and said hundreds of app users had “snapped back” to indicate they planned to attend.
The teens who attended said when they arrived the house was so packed they could barely move. They saw holes punched in walls, cracks in the living room floor and kids clambering out of windows to access the roof.
The teens, who left before the stabbing, later saw a cellphone video of a boy screaming on the floor, bleeding from his leg. The video was posted on Snapchat but CBC was not able to view it because the app automatically deletes videos 24 hours after they’re posted.
It’s not certain whether police have been able to recover the digital evidence.
Teens appeared ‘traumatized’
Bridlewood resident Marc Beal was walking his dog through nearby Scissons Park when he heard the wailing of sirens, then saw several teens climbing over a backyard fence and sprinting across the field. When he exited the park and turned onto Cedar Valley Drive Beal saw the flashing lights of a police SUV and a horde of teenagers standing around, bottles and cans littering the ground around them.
“I just asked what happened and they said someone was stabbed inside the house. Some seemed quite traumatized by it,” Beal said.
Minutes later Ashley Agnel, who lives two doors down from the scene of the party, turned onto her street and encountered “complete chaos.”
“There were at least 10 cruisers and police were blocking off the streets and there were teenagers just everywhere being loud and screaming.” Agnel said.
The house at 38 Cedar Valley Drive is listed for rent on Airbnb, where it’s described as “incredible and spacious.” The five-bedroom home currently rents for $238 per night. Interior photos show a large fireplace, dark wood floors and a curved staircase.
The home also offers self-check-in through a “smartlock” keypad, which means the owners and renters need never meet one another. The house rules stipulate “no parties.”
Agnel, who has never met the homeowner, said she’s been told they reside in Quebec. She said the house is typically rented out on weekends, and although there have been large gatherings there in the past there’s never been a party that required police response.
On Thursday caretakers showed up at the house to make repairs, arriving in a black truck filled with replacement furniture packed in flat cardboard boxes.
In a message over Airbnb, the home’s owner, who would only provide the name Chase, said police are investigating a break-in at the house because no one rented it Tuesday. Police would not confirm whether they’re investigating a break-in.
The owner said Airbnb will not pay for the damage because there wasn’t a booking. Instead, he plans to submit an insurance claim.