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Vancouver cops recommend more Stanley Cup riot charges

63 new charges bring total to 278 against 100 suspects

The Vancouver Police Department has recommended another 63 charges to Crown counsel against 20 suspects connected to the Stanley Cup riot that erupted downtown in June 2011.

The new charges, which police announced Tuesday, bring the total to 278 against 100 suspects. So far, Crown counsel has approved charges against 30 suspects on 78 charges.

Weve reached a milestone today for our team, said

Insp. Les Yeo of the Integrated Riot Investigation Team, referring to the 100th suspect charged. As Ive said all along, were not going to give up.

Yeo spoke to reporters from the VPDs Graveley Street station where he said riot investigators are close to preparing a fourth package of charges for the Crown.

The top three charges sought by police are participating in a riot (100 charges), mischief (82) and break and enter (50). One suspect is facing 10 charges.

The Crown prosecution team reviewing the files has yet to approve all charges recommended in the first package of charges sent by VPD.

Yeo said police are meeting daily with the Crown team and he is confident lawyers will work through those charges, despite the growing number of files.

In one case before the courts, the Crown stayed two charges against Ryan Dickinson, 20, of Coquitlam, who pleaded guilty to participating in a riot and violating a court order for a previous assault charge.

Asked whether he was concerned charges related to the riot investigation were being stayed, Yeo declined to comment on the Dickinson case, noting it was before the courts.

Dickinson is scheduled for a sentencing hearing Feb. 7 in Vancouver Provincial Court. He will be the first suspect to be sentenced in Vancouver following a Surrey man who earlier pleaded guilty to stealing swimwear and received an absolute discharge in Surrey Provincial Court.

Police Chief Jim Chu has explained the Surrey case was handled by the Surrey RCMP, which did not refer the case to the riot investigation team.

A fact sheet provided by the VPD to reporters Tuesday showed the majority of the 100 suspects facing charges26are from Surrey while Vancouver (18), Burnaby (17), Maple Ridge (six) and North Vancouver (four) round out the top five municipalities of suspects residences.

Of the 100 suspects, 85 are men and 15 are women. The average age is 21, with the youngest a 15-year-old boy and the oldest a 52-year-old man. A total of 20 suspects are under 18.

Of the new charges, police said a 19-year-old man from Surrey is facing arson charges for allegedly attempting to set an overturned truck on fire.

The suspect is also alleged to have helped others flip a truck that was parked in the 300-block West Georgia Street. Police said video surveillance showed the man allegedly lighting papers on fire and throwing them into the cab of the truck.

To investigators disbelief, on two occasions he was seen flicking lit cigarettes at the pool of gas that was leaking from the overturned truck, said police in a written summary of the case released Tuesday. Fortunately, the gas didnt catch fire, averting any explosion or serious injury.

Police said riot investigators had planned to arrest the suspect at a university in Kelowna, when he contacted police to turn himself in. The man has no previous criminal record.

Yeo said police will soon post hundreds more photographs of suspects on the VPDs website. Yeo declined to say how much the investigation has cost, saying that information will be released once the probe is concluded.

Twitter: @Howellings