Parents could face charges for vigilante takedown of child luring suspect: RCMP
Jeff Lawrence, CTV Vancouver Island
Published Friday, April 13, 2018 11:51AM PDT
Last Updated Friday, April 13, 2018 6:54PM PDT
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Port Alberni RCMP say three adults could face charges after they took a child luring investigation into their own hands, restraining a suspect and streaming it live on Facebook.
Officers said they were called to a report of a disturbance at a home in the 3600-block of Bruce Street on Thursday.
They arrived at the home to find a 28-year-old man on the floor secured with restraints. He was released and taken to hospital for treatment.
A video posted to Facebook Thursday appeared to show the incident taking place live.
In it, a man is shown with his hands restrained by zap straps face-down on the floor as a woman accuses him of trying to prey on her teen daughter.
"He came to my house to meet my 13-year-old f****n' daughter to f**k her," the woman recording the video says. "He wanted to be her first. We f****n' tackled him and zap-strapped him and called the police."
She goes on to say that when she contacted police earlier in the day to ask them to attend, they said no.
"Why wouldn't the police come and help me catch this predator that just came to my f****n' house?" she says.
Later in the video, RCMP members are seen entering the home and heard asking residents to untie the man.
"You're all being detained for assault right now, I'm sorry," a Mountie is heard saying.
"I'm arrested because we caught a predator that the police refused to catch," the woman says to the camera.
The video ends after the RCMP ask the woman for her phone.
Mom says she set up meeting
The meeting was set up by the 13-year-old's mother after she said she found messages from the man on her daughter's phone asking her to meet him.
CTV News is not identifying the woman to protect her daughter's identity.
"I went to the cops and asked to come with me for this meet and they told me to block him and ignore it, and I came home and said yes to the meet," she said.
The woman said she'd been asking police for six weeks to help her determine the identity of the man messaging her daughter, and that's why she took matters into her own hands.
"He walked in the front door and up the stairs toward my daughter's room. I came out of my daughter's room and met him in the hallway," she said. "He said 'oh my god,' and I punched him in the face."
Two men with her helped restrain the man, she said, and that's when she started recording the video.
RCMP call incident 'vigilante' act
On Friday, Port Alberni RCMP confirmed the individual on the ground in the video is the subject of an ongoing child luring investigation since March, and said police previously warned the mother not to go through with the meeting.
"She was advised that the investigation was ongoing and we were working on it," said Port Alberni RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Amelia Hayden.
They said the incident appears to have been an act of vigilantism.
"Any time the public takes the law into their own hands, it can potentially jeopardize an ongoing investigation," said Hayden.
The people involved in restraining the man could face charges of assault causing bodily harm and forcible confinement, according to RCMP.
A news release issued by the department Friday afternoon said police were aware that the video has generated discussion in the community.
"While the investigation remains active and ongoing, we are mindful that the inability to release all of the information known to date has likely contributed to concerns," Insp. Brian Hunter said in a statement. "We can confirm that our investigation includes that the male was allegedly lured to the home and was met by three adults. There were no children there when he arrived.
The mother said despite the fact she could face charges, she wouldn't have done anything differently.
"If they would've come with me they could've prevented it all, and if I get charged I still feel I did the right thing," she said.
RCMP said the child luring investigation is ongoing. No charges have been laid.