A close friend of the victim of a brutal beating in Yarmouth on Friday night says she doesn’t know what motivated the attack, which left the teen girl unrecognizable.
“When she sent me the picture of herself on the stretcher, I didn’t recognize her. Her face was so swollen, especially her lips; her lips were so swollen you couldn’t tell whether or not she had teeth in her skull.”
RCMP say a 17-year-old Yarmouth girl was held captive and repeatedly beaten at different locations throughout Yarmouth on Jan. 4
Three 19-year-olds, a 64-year-old, and a 17-year-old have been arrested and three have been charged in the attack.
The friend, who described the victim as “like a little sister” is not being named due to a publication ban protecting the teen’s identity. She said the teen has been released from hospital and is staying in a safe place where she is recovering from her extensive injuries.
“Yes, she will recover fully, physically, but the saddest part to consider is, is she going to recover fully mentally?” her friend said.
“She’s scared ... she just went through something extremely traumatic.”
A rough ride
The friend told The Chronicle Herald that the victim knew two of the women who were charged in the assault.
“Us and one of the girls who attacked her used to all live together. We were all close, we called each other sisters,” she said. “I don’t understand why this happened.”
The woman said her friend is “one of the sweetest people” she’s ever met, and is worried the attack will damage her for life.
“She’s humble and full of energy. She’s the type of person to light up a room with her smile. She’s charismatic, magnetic (and) absolutely full of confidence,” she said. “I’m worried this traumatic experience is going to take some of that away from her.”
The RCMP have released details of the incident.
The police say a teen was picked up in a blue Hyundai Tucson, with the Nova Scotia licence plate GGA 153, on Cliff Street on Jan. 4 by one female on a pretence that did not cause the teenager to worry that anything was unsafe. But unknown to the teen, the RCMP say, three people were in the backseat and started hitting her and punching her in the head.
The vehicle was driven to Leighton Street in Hebron where the assaulted continued, say police.
The RCMP say she was dragged out of the vehicle, thrown to the ground and kicked and punched in the head. She was also taken to a residence on Baker Street, to the Superstore/NSLC on Starrs Road (an NSLC spokesperson says they did not enter the store) and another location on Green Street. The assaults continued at the different locations, police say. At Green Street, someone tried to get their dog to attack the girl.
“The suspects then poured water all over her face and down her throat. She was dragged to the car by her hair,” a Jan. 7 media release reads.
The RCMP say the incident ended when the girl was able to escape from the vehicle and sought refuge and help at the Your Winners World convenience store where staff called 911 after the girl entered the store, screaming and bleeding from injuries to her face and hands.
Upcoming court appearances
Two of the accused appeared in Yarmouth provincial court on Jan. 7. The two 19-year-olds — Jadelyn Kristi-Ann Rhyno, also known as Trey Rhyno, and Danesha Russell, both of Yarmouth — were remanded into custody and will be back in court on Jan. 10 for bail hearings.
The pair were arrested Jan. 7 in Ste. Anne du Ruisseau and are both charged with aggravated assault; assault with a weapon; unlawful confinement; conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and uttering threats to cause bodily harm.
Court documents state the accused threatened to kill the victim. The weapon as listed in the court documents was a metal bar.
On the night of the allaged incident, a 19-year-old woman was arrested in Salmon River. She was later released that evening by police. She is scheduled to appear in Yarmouth provincial court on Feb. 19 and is facing charges of aggravated assault; assault with a weapon; unlawful confinement and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
A 64-year-old woman from Yarmouth was arrested at a home on Green Street. She was released from police custody and is scheduled to attend Yarmouth provincial court on Feb. 19. She is facing one count of assault with a weapon.
On Jan. 5, the RCMP say a 17-year-old girl from Yarmouth turned herself into the detachment. She was arrested, charged and later released. She is scheduled to return to Yarmouth youth court on Feb. 26 and has been charged with aggravated assault; assault with a weapon; unlawful confinement; conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and uttering threats to cause bodily harm. Because she is a youth her name cannot be published.
The RCMP say their investigation into this matter is still active.
“If we get information that leads us to lay other charges than that’s what we’ll do,” said RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke on Jan. 8.
Those not held in custody were released on conditions, which would include having no contact with the victim.
The RCMP are seeking the public’s help in their investigation and are asking anyone with information about this incident, or who would have seen the vehicle on the day of the incident, to contact them at 902-742-9106. Should people wish to remain anonymous, call Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submit a secure web tip at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca, or use the P3 Tips App.