Police Chief Jim Chu says he expects more suspects arrested in connection with the Stanley Cup riot to be sentenced to jail time as the courts handle the growing number of people facing charges.
Chu made the prediction at a press conference Tuesday at the Cambie Street police station where he pointed to the one-month jail sentence handed down Monday to a 20-year-old Surrey man for his role in the riot.
“A lot of people didn’t think he would get jail time,” said Chu, referring to Emmanuel Alviar, whose actions on the night of June 15 included throwing a street barricade at a window.
Chu noted Alviar turned himself in to police, had no previous criminal record, pleaded guilty and apologized to the people of Vancouver during the court proceedings.
“Those rioters that won’t come forward and don’t express remorse are probably going to see a higher sentence,” said Chu, who described the sentence to Alviar as “very appropriate.”
The chief, who spoke three days before the one-year anniversary of the riot, announced another 82 criminal charges against 25 suspected rioters. That brings the total number of recommended charges to 674 against 225 suspects.
So far, the Crown has approved 276 of the charges against 104 suspects. Of those charged, 22 people have pleaded guilty, including Alviar and Ryan Dickinson, who received a 17-month jail term; Dickinson had a previous record and was in breach of probation on the night of the riot.
When the riot investigation concludes, Chu said he expects the number of arrests will exceed 300 and total more than 900 criminal charges against suspects.
“We believe this is the greatest number of people charged with a crime arising from one incident in Canadian history,” he said.
Chu also announced a “most wanted” list of 10 suspects in connection with the riot. The suspects’ faces are posted on the VPD’s website.
Eight of the 10 suspects are accused of attacking Good Samaritans in incidents outside the Bay, the 800-block of Homer Street, 700-block of Seymour Street, 200-block of West Georgia and the 600-block of Seymour.
In one incident on Homer Street, a man was smashed in the face with a metal pipe after he attempted to record the actions of rioters stealing metal from a construction site. He suffered a broken nose and cheekbone that required surgery to repair.
Chu said the riot team of 70 police and staff will be reduced to 24 people but will increase if the investigation warrants it. The chief warned the decrease doesn’t mean police have stopped searching for suspects.
“Just because the police haven’t contacted you yet, don’t think you got away with it,” he said.
Police costs of the riot reached $2 million this month. The tab
includes overtime, car rentals, cellphones, computers and setting up a $500,000 video lab at the department's Graveley Street precinct to review footage from the riot.
Costs don't include the $7 million to pay salaries of VPD officers redeployed to the riot team and others from the RCMP and suburban departments that would have otherwise been spent on other investigations had the riot not occurred.
The mayhem, which erupted after the Vancouver Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, caused more than $3.4 million damages to businesses, vehicles and other property.
More than 80 per cent of the suspects charged lived outside of Vancouver, with almost 20 per cent from Surrey and 12 per cent from Burnaby. Almost 17 per cent of suspects are from Vancouver.