Thugs trash downtown Vancouver in night of mayhem

Smoke from torched cars rises above downtown Vancouver. Photo by Gord Holt ©

By Salim Jiwa

VANCOUVER – Police using teargas, pepper spray and batons had secured downtown Vancouver by 1 a.m. on Thursday after mobs of rioters trashed and torched cars, looted businesses and engaged in numerous fights following the Canucks defeat by the Boston Bruins.

While cops claimed the riots were the work of a small group of people, large mobs of hundreds could be seen breaking into the downtown Sears, Chapters and Futureshop electronic store and making away with goods.

Two police cars were first trashed and then torched. The cops cars were among dozens of vehicles destroyed by the mob which began a rampage before the end of the final Stanley Cup game.

Dozens of people were taken to hospital during the riot – with many needing treatment for pepper spray and other suffering from stab wounds resulting from numerous fights among the rioters.

Police called in reinforcements from neighbouring municipalities and were also joined by RCMP to bring the tense situation under control. Several downtown streets were littered with burned out cars and glass from smashed storefront windows.

Some 100,000 had stood on a downtown street corner to watch the game on a big screen – but the party went awry as the defeat of the home team appeared certain.

Police said last night they had prepared for the possibility of trouble and that they had a plan in place to deal with it. However, there was no intervention by cops as hundreds entered downtown stores and looted goods at will for several hours.

At times, it seemed police were outnumbered and mobs were undeterred by baton charges after cops read them the riot act.

There were unconfirmed reports of a number of stabbings and one death – but those reports had not been confirmed by police.

Vancouverites were disgusted by the violence which was beamed live around the world and watched as far away as Australia. KTLA TV broadcast a live streaming video of the riots on the Internet.

Const. Jana McGuinness issued a short statement shortly after midnight stating the streets were largely under police control.

“Police are reporting that most people have now left the downtown core. A heavy police presence remains in the area as officers work to secure evidence and ensure no other criminal acts take place,” she said.

Police are asking anyone with video evidence, photographs, or witness accounts to call the VPD Robbery Assault Squad at 604-717-2541 or email robbery@vpd.ca

Thousands of pictures were taken by bystanders, police and television stations – potentially allowing cops to identify the rioters who face serious charges of break and enter, destruction of property, arson, assault with a weapon and public mischief.

Copyright 2009-2014, Vancouverite News Service.

Posted by on Jun 16 2011. Filed under Canada, EDITOR'S CHOICE, Featured, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “Thugs trash downtown Vancouver in night of mayhem”

  1. As A Canadian who resided in various provinces in Canada, and who visits VANCOUVER often, I AM TRULY SADDENED by this DISPLAY of CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES by a bunch of MORONS who have no RESPECT or REGARD for properties, businesses, people safety. This will leave a huge repair bill, let alone the blackened mark on this city, province for years to come. I Sincerely hope that everyone of these people are caught and punished to the fullest extent of the law. and I hope what has gone around will come around to each of these idiots.
    One day they will be TAXPAYERS in all FORMS, Income tax, Sales Tax, Property Tax and they just might get as pissed off as I am about all this unnecessary damage, which will end up costing all of us for years to come in the form of higher taxes and prices for everything.
    TO THE PARENTS of these CRIMINALS, You should be ashamed of your offspring. PLEASE REPORT and HAVE THEM HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS. Otherwise they will only get worse as they get older.
    I APPLAUD the POLICE, FIRE, AMBULANCE, NEWS REPORTERS who had to do their job in a dangerous situation. I thank you for risking your life for the lives of others.

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly. I would be willing to publish the picture and charge against each of the defendants if the cops will release names and photos of these thugs in action.

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