Confessed B.C. rioters take online abuse
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Monday, June 20, 2011 12:05PM PDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 2:07AM PDT
The public is showing little sympathy for the people who took part in the mayhem that erupted in downtown Vancouver last week, with some online users making a point of sending nasty messages to riot participants.
Five days after the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup final, the spotlight remains squarely focused on the people whose destructive behaviour made the squandered hockey season an afterthought.
Vancouver police have been inundated with tips since the riot raged, while amateur sleuths have been putting names to faces on the Internet.
In a few known cases, individuals with guilty consciences have turned themselves into police but continue to take heat from angry members of the public.
Nathan Kotylak, a high school student and talented water polo player from Maple Ridge, B.C., was one of the people who took part in the riot.
Media would not normally be able to identify Kotylak, who is only 17 years old. But he got a lawyer to obtain a court order so he could offer a public apology for his actions.
On the weekend he released a statement expressing his remorse for turning "from being a spectator to becoming part of the mob mentality that swept through many members of the crowd."
Related: Read the apology
Kotylak also offered an apology on Facebook, which made him the target of online venom so troubling that his family left their home for safety reasons.
"The family has been concerned for their safety," said Bart Findlay, a lawyer representing the young polo player.
"It's kind of odd because we see the mob mentality that's been shown on TV through the riot, we're experiencing very much the same thing online."
But Kotylak isn't the only person to be targeted by online users.
A university student named Camille Cacnio wrote a lengthy apology to Vancouver on her blog, admitting Sunday that she was "not proud of her actions" last week.
On her blog, Cacnio fully admits to stealing two pairs of men's pants from a store that was in the midst of being looted. She wanted to keep them as "a souvenir" of the riot that had erupted.
Like Kotylak, Cacnio was harassed and subjected to rude taunts online when her name was identified in connection with the riot.
While Cacnio has since confessed to police, she believes the public's anger "does not make the situation better."
With files from The Canadian Press and a report from CTV British Columbia