Port Alberni RCMP are contemplating charges of forcible confinement and assault causing bodily harm against two people who detained a man they accused of being a pedophile in their home on Thursday, April 12.
The RCMP were called to a disturbance at a residence in the 3600-block of Bruce Street in Port Alberni at about 12:20 p.m. on April 12, where they discovered a 28-year-old injured man secured with restraints inside the residence. The man was released from his restraints and was subsequently taken to hospital for medical attention, RCMP Cpl. Amelia Hayden said.
The man is the subject of an ongoing RCMP child luring investigation.
The scene was captured on a 5:35-minute video that was widely distributed on social media.
“This guy came to meet my 13-year-old daughter to have sex with her,” a woman identifying herself as the girl’s mother can be heard saying on the video. She named the man, claiming she knew who he was.
When the man in question showed up at the house, the mother and someone else inside the house hogtied the suspect with zap-straps and waited for the police to arrive, live streaming everything on Facebook. The video then went viral before it was taken down from social media.
The mother said she had visited police earlier in the day and asked them to show up for the meet-up with the man, “but police said no.”
“The mother in question had been in contact with the police and had been told several times to cease any conversation with the man in question,” Hayden said. “She was directed not to make the meet happen.”
Hayden said it’s her understanding the mother orchestrated the meet with the suspect. Police seized the cellphone the mother had been using, which she claimed had correspondence on it with the suspect.
Hayden cautioned members of the public from taking the law into their own hands.
“These are serious matters and the police are investigating and taking appropriate steps to address the original complaint filed in March. Vigilante actions like these are not only illegal and put people in danger, but they also have the potential to compromise the original ongoing investigation,” she said.
“Contacting the RCMP was the right thing to do, right from the onset,” Hayden said. “Once that’s done and some direction is given as to what’s required for the investigation, you need to leave it to the investigators to do their job. Unfortunately, when people intervene it doesn’t always help.”
Hayden said the child luring case could be in jeopardy as a result of the vigilante actions taken by the people involved in the video.
“Anytime the public takes the law into their own hands, it can potentially jeopardize an investigation,” she added.
Police did not release any names in this incident and no charges have been filed at this time in either case of the child luring, or the forcible confinement.