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UPDATE: McRoberts student arrested for Vancouver riot vandalism
A Richmond teen has been arrested in the aftermath of the post-Stanley Cup riot in downtown Vancouver.
The Hugh McRoberts secondary student—whose name we've chosen not to publish—was questioned by police for his alleged involvement in the smashing of the windows at a BMO bank branch.
He was pulled aside on the last day of school.
There's a photo making the rounds online of a bespectacled skinny young man wearing a Canucks shirt and holding a hockey stick, apparently screaming in front of a row of broken windows. There's also a video, which seems to show the same man, smashing the windows and passing off the hockey stick to another person who then also takes a swing at the windows.
Richmond Board of Education chair Donna Sargent said the principal at McRoberts, Craig Svalestuen, received at least one anonymous tip about the student's involvement in the riot, and subsequently forwarded that information to the local police.
Sargent said she and her family would have been downtown on Wednesday to take in the hockey game among other fans had her son not felt ill that day.
"I was heartbroken," she said of her reaction to the rioting. "Very said. It just made me very upset that I really didn't think that something like that could happen in our city."
Sargent said the public needs to be careful in reaching conclusions about a person's guilty.
"A person is still innocent until proven guilty."
But Sargent is optimistic that the devastating damage the riot did to the city's image, could result in a learning moment for young adults and teenagers.
The day after the riot, Sargent took her family to the plywood signing wall, where Vancouver-area residents expressed their support for their city and disapproval of what the rioters did.
Reading the emotional outpouring was "extremely uplifting," she said.
While the actions of the rioters was condemnable, she said the vast majority were good people who made a bad mistake.
And those people need to take ownership of what they did.
The nasty comments made about those individuals who have been identified on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, is pointless and counterproductive, she said.
"It will change us forever," Sargent said of the riot, adding that she hopes it will be for the better.
"Young people need to talk about events like this, and learn from it."
It didn't take long for locals to identify the teen, some voicing their disapproval of his actions through his Facebook page.
"This guy was arrested at school today," wrote one Facebook user.
"He was showing off that stick with the bear on it at school yesterday," wrote another.
The teen tried to hide his involvement by changing his tune on his Facebook page, something that didn't go unnoticed by other Facebook users.
"Why is everyone smashing Vancouver? It's giving our city a bad rep," the arrested teen wrote.
"What a joke, you're giving Vancouver and McRoberts a bad rep," wrote another Facebook user.
"Love the fact he tried to cover his story and come and say 'why is everyone smashing Vancouver...' he knew he was going down," wrote another.
The youth is apparently enrolled in a local cadets program.
Richmond RCMP Insp. Janis Gray said local Mounties are assisting the Vancouver Police Department on some follow-up investigations relating to the riot.
As well, Richmond RCMP has received information about the riots directly from locals that has prompted local police to investigate.
While the Vancouver Police Department would like anyone with information that can lead to the identification of rioters to contact them directly, people are also invited to leave anonymous tips through CrimeStoppers.
The Richmond Review is not naming the suspect as he is not an adult.