A 48-year-old woman was hospitalized after family members violently tried to rouse her from her drunkenness, said police yesterday.

The incident was initially widely reported as a swarming involving teens who kicked a woman as they robbed her and laughed about it.

The supposed assailants were actually family members who took away the woman’s bottle of booze and left her unconscious in an East Vancouver parking lot.

A witness saw the “rough housing” and believing it was a swarming called police who then issued a public warning during their morning press conference.

Const. Lindsey Houghton said the decision to release information about the “swarming” prematurely was weighed against getting important information out to the public.

“It is absolutely critical in investigations for us to generate witness information,” Houghton said. “People’s memories are freshest in the first 24 to 48 hours.”

The incident occurred at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in a parking lot at 12th Avenue and Slocan Street, south of the Rona store.

Police initially said five teen boys were seen laughing as they kicked a woman while she lay on the ground, searching through her clothes and belongings.

The teens fled the scene, four of them heading east toward the Renfrew SkyTrain station, a witness said. One of them was carrying a large bottle of booze.

Later a member of the woman’s family contacted police. The woman also regained consciousness and was able to speak to investigators.

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