Surrey Creep Catchers’ President Ryan Laforge is facing two counts of assault linked to the group’s controversial stings.
Surrey RCMP says the first charge, along with a count of uttering threats, is related to an incident on April 3, when Laforge confronted a former realtor who had allegedly come to meet what he thought was a six-year-old girl for sex.
Video from the scene shows Laforge appearing to shove the man against a wall and threaten him.
Laforge was arrested at the scene and released, while the other man in the video, Kuljinder Singh Bhatti was later arrested and charged with child luring.
The second charge relates to a separate sting on April 19. In video shot at the scene Laforge and another member appear to put a man involved in an alleged sting in a head lock, saying he’s under citizen’s arrest for arranging to meet a 7-year-old girl.
Police say they attended the scene and arrested two people, the subject of the sting and Lance Loy, another member of the Creep Catchers.
Investigators say both Laforge and Loy are charged with assault in that case.
Police say Lance Loy is due in court Thursday, while an arrest warrant has been issued for Laforge.
A third suspect is also being investigated.
Surrey RCMP says it continues to condemn vigilantism, which it says “no matter how well-meaning, poses significant risks to the safety of all those involved.”
The investigation into the two alleged cases of child luring remains ongoing.
Changing their tactics
Meanwhile, Laforge says the group is looking at different tactics for their stings following a pair of assault charges.
He says his assault charges have made the group reconsider how they will “detain” their targets.
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“We have come up with a plan to hopefully eliminate having what looks to be over aggressive in our citizen’s arrest.”
He adds this isn’t the first time he’s been arrested for aggressive behaviour when it comes to a Creep Catcher sting but says the group will change to fall in line with the law.
With files from Kyle Benning