Parents, friends turn in alleged Vancouver rioters
Published On Sat Jun 18 2011EmailPrint (42)
By Petti Fong
VANCOUVER—Outed by their own postings, their friends and even their parents, the young men involved in Vancouver’s downtown riot this week are turning themselves in to police.
As the number of rioters being identified by social media grows, so does the number of arrests and charges being made by Vancouver police.
At least six rioters have turned themselves in to the police, including one 17-year-old brought in by his mother. The father of another 17-year-old, a water polo player, has also said his son will cooperate with authorities.
Neither has been charged.
In a statement, Ahmed El-Awadi, executive director of Water Polo Canada, said the player, who has been identified on websites set up to identify rioters, has been suspended from the national team.
“We are aware that there are allegations a national team athlete allegedly vandalized a police vehicle during the riots,” said El-Awadi.
Pictures posted on websites show a young man using a rag to set a police car gas tank on fire.
Sociologist Rima Wilkes, who teaches at the University of British Columbia, said in the days since the riots, it appears that there are parents actively questioning their children about their actions downtown after Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.
“These parents should be applauded and hopefully these kids have learned some long-term life lessons out of this,” Wilkes said Saturday.
Thousands of images and hours of videos shot during the riot are being circulated on websites specifically designed to get people to turn in any of the rioters they recognize. Some of the arrests have come out of rioters being identified by friends and family members through social media and more are expected, said Vancouver police Const. Jana McGuinness.