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Vancouver Riots Suspects Turn Themselves In To Police

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THE CANADIAN PRESS -- Vancouver police have recommended their first charges to emerge from the Stanley Cup riot, asking the Crown to lay charges of arson, mischief, unlawful assembly and participation in a riot.

Chief Jim Chu said the suspect turned himself in to police the day after rioters tore through Vancouver's downtown, lighting cars on fire and looting stores.

Vancouver police says about half a dozen people so far have turned themselves into police, admitting they took part in the riot Wednesday night.

One alleged rioter was even turned in to the police by his own parents after they saw photos of the looting online, the CBC reported.

There is a large unit investigating the riot, including members of the RCMP and other police agencies around the Metro Vancouver, he said.

“We are going to vigorously pursue those lawbreakers,” Chu told reporters Friday.

He said there have been many tips from the public to help identify rioters.

“We've been overwhelmed by the large number of tips that have come in,” Chu said.

“Our server was crashed yesterday because so much volume of material was coming forward from members of the public.”

The server was back up and running, and Chu encouraged the public to keep the tips coming in. Several websites and Facebook pages have been set up with photos and video from the mayhem, asking people to identify the thugs.

Chu thanked the Good Samaritans who tried to intervene as the crowd spiralled out of control, some of whom can be seen in witness video being beaten by the drunken rioters for trying to stop the violence.

“I'm sorry that we couldn't back you up and get to you earlier,” the police chief said. “I know we have training and we have protective gear and all of you didn't, so thank you for trying ...

“What you've done is truly heroic.”

Chu was on the defensive about the department's preparations for the final, given that Vancouver hockey fans rioted in 1994 when their team lost in the final game of the series.

But he downplayed suggestions that a department report to city council foreshadowed that they didn't have the resources necessary for the massive crowd.

“When you review the riot, even among my own officers, there's lots of should-haves, could'ves,” Chu said. “But going into the riot we did the best we could using the right judgment and the best expertise and judgment that we could come up with.

“Knowing what I know now, there's many things that I would have done differently.”

With files from CBC

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