Skip to comments.Boy found dead with toy weapon
Posted on 11/15/2005 7:25:37 PM PST by proud_yank
An Edmonton family is grieving the loss of their middle child today, after the 10-year-old boy was found dead yesterday morning in the family's north-end home.
EMS Supt. Wes Bogdane said emergency crews found the boy with a pair of toy nunchuks wrapped around his neck. Nunchuks are a martial arts weapon, made up of two sticks joined by a short length of rope or chain.
Paramedics responded to 12720 48 St. shortly after 7:30 a.m. yesterday, and said Christopher White was dead when they got there.
The medical examiner's office is investigating the circumstances of the death, and a cause has yet to be determined, said spokesman Ron Jacobs.
Police have ruled out foul play, and say it appears Chris may have died as the result of an accident.
The White family declined comment yesterday, but a neighbour said Chris was active and full of energy.
"He was involved in his school and he loved martial arts," said Doug Lunden, who lives down the street from the Whites.
"He just won a silver medal in a martial arts competition."
Lunden expressed grief for the family, and hoped Chris's two surviving sisters, one older and one younger, could help his father cope with the loss of his son.
"They've got those two girls and they've had support all day," Lunden said.
Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, was shocked to hear the news of Chris's death.
"He was only 10. I just can't imagine it. How horrible," she said. "My prayers are with them."
Crisis counsellors were offering support to White's Grade 5 classmates yesterday at Father Leo Green School, and a letter reporting the boy's death was sent home to parents.
The report of toy nunchuks wrapped around the boy's throat raised eyebrows in the local martial arts community.
Nunchuks - the real kind - are a prohibited weapon in Canada, said Edmonton Police Insp. Dennis Pysyk.
Craig Stanley, a seventh-degree tae kwon-do master and one of Canada's top martial arts performers, said weapons training is uncommon in martial arts - especially for young children.
"It's normally reserved for kung fu training," said Stanley, who runs the Phoenix Tae Kwon-Do club in St. Albert.
"Taekwondo means 'the way of the hand and foot,' and karate uses open-hand techniques."
But Stanley said some martial arts clubs do train with weapons - especially when it draws in customers.
"It's usually instructors who need to bring in more students, because weapons are attractive."
Hong Park Tae Kwon-Do College instructor Patrick Gallagher, 20, says his club trains with foam-wrapped nunchuks.
"Usually the chain isn't long enough to wrap around somebody's neck," he said. "I've never heard of anybody strangling themselves with a nunchuk before."
Dr. Louis Francescutti, an injury prevention advocate, said he's never heard of such a tragedy, but that "injuries are the leading cause of death in kids."
Nice to see those regulations at work! Maybe a 'nunchuk registry' would have worked better to prevent such an accident?
nunchuk control NOW!
I've never wrapped a nunchuck chain around my neck... but I HAVE whacked myself in the head a few times.
So did the school this kid trained at use weapons? With 10 year olds? Or was this something he was inspired to do by TV? Oh wait, what kids see on TV has no effect on them... so we are told.
I'm trying to picture how this could happen. Couldn't he have just unwrapped it from his neck?
Clearly his style of kung fu was not very good.
Not sure how they ruled out foul play. I can't imagine how someone could strangle their self with toy numchucks.
I always get a kick out of some guy who can't even spell or pronounce something writing about regulating it.
Wonder how they were able to rule out foul play?
I almost choked to death on a toy whistle when I was a kid. I have dedicated the rest of my life to the banning of toy whistles. (Jus' kiddin' about the second part.)
Um, shouldn't the father be helping his daughters cope, especially since one of them is younger than 10?
My first year at the Renaissance Festival, I was armed with a quarterstaff - big old six-foot-long dymondwood thing that you could NOT break.
At times, I amused myself by twirling it over my head like a baton.
Then once, I dropped it squah on my head.
What did I misspell?
If this kid knew kung fu, and was skilled with chucks, I can't imagine how he could have choked himself to death, esp. if these are not the real variety. Something smells here...
And apparently within a day.Seems to be a little quick to come to a conclusion.
Hey, we all need a cause. Right? /s
IF NUNCHUKS WERE OUTLAWED...
That's what I thought.
Nunchuck chains or rope (on a toy?) are rarely long enough to wrap around anyone's neck. As you said, why couldn't they have just been unwrapped? I wonder if he hit his windpipe really hard or something.
I've been able to use dual nunchaku since I was about seven years old. Bruce Lee favored the ones with the longer chain/string. I favor the shorter ones.
Where were the parents?!
Perhaps he was playing at self strangulation to get a rush. This is becoming a phenomenom in the grade school set.
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