Suspected Stanley Cup rioter apprehended in Esquimalt

Victoria police have made five arrests connected to post-Game 7 riot

A suspected Stanley Cup rioter was arrested on his boat in Esquimalt’s West Bay Marina Thursday.

Victoria patrol and canine unit officers, acting on a tip received by the Integrated Riot Investigation Team of Lower Mainland police, took the 26-year-old Esquimalt resident into custody without incident around 5 a.m.

The man’s photo was one of 100 photos of wanted riot suspects featured on thousands of Riot Roundup 2 posters that were distributed by Victoria police reserve constables and volunteers in March.

“I think (his identification) was a result of the Riot Roundup2 posters that we handed out,” said Const. Mike Russell, Victoria police spokesperson.

Police say the suspect’s image was taken from video and photos of him allegedly damaging two police cars, a number of parked cars and jumping up and down on some metal fencing panels, following Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals on June 15, 2011.

“There’s a shot of him dancing on top of a police car,” Russell said.

The Esquimalt man is the first suspected rioter arrested by VicPD since the launch of the second riot poster campaign, and the department’s fifth arrest since the riot. The suspect’s name cannot be released until charges are approved by Crown counsel.

“It’s huge for us to be able to help out, to send that message: No matter where you are, if you commit a crime like this, you’re not going to be able to hide in our community,” Russell said.

Detectives with the Integrated Riot Investigation Team travelled to Victoria police headquarters to speak to the suspect.

“(The suspect) was interviewed and released,” Russell said, adding he could face criminal charges.

Investigators are recommending 40 criminal charges against 11 suspected rioters from Vancouver Island. To date, a total of 85 people have been charged in connection with the Vancouver riot.

For photos of suspects, visit riot2011.vpd.ca. To report the whereabouts of a suspected rioter, call the Vancouver Police Department at 604-717-9999 or email riot@vpd.ca.

emccracken@vicnews.com