It appears at least one Vancouver Island resident was among the riot that occurred at last year’s PNE riot.
After months of investigation, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) has laid mischief charges against 15 individuals in connection with a destructive incident that unfolded during last summer’s Breakout Festival at the PNE Amphitheatre.
The incident was sparked by the last-minute cancellation of a headline act, resulting in a wave of violence and property destruction.
Among those facing charges are residents of Vancouver Island, though specific details regarding their identities and communities remain undisclosed.
“We spent months collecting evidence and analyzing video in the aftermath of the Breakout Festival, and we promised to do everything we could to arrest those responsible for their violent and destructive behavior,” said Inspector Dale Weidman, who led the investigation for VPD’s Major Crime Section.
“We’re grateful to everyone who came forward with tips and helped us identify these suspects.”
The incident in question transpired on September 18th, 2022, when the highly-anticipated performance by rapper Lil Baby was abruptly canceled.
Following the cancellation, a portion of the concertgoers resorted to deliberate property destruction both within and around the venue, resulting in damages exceeding $300,000.
Street fights spilled into the adjacent residential neighborhoods, causing further concern.
To identify the individuals responsible for inciting violence and damaging property, investigators said they meticulously reviewed security footage from the venue and collected cellphone videos from witnesses.
As a result of this extensive effort, the BC Prosecution Service has approved mischief charges against 15 individuals.
All of those facing charges are young men aged 15 to 22 at the time of the offenses.
Notably, the majority of the suspects reside outside Vancouver, hailing from various communities, including Prince George, Vancouver Island, and the Okanagan. However, specific details about the number of Vancouver Island residents charged and the communities they originate from have not been released by VPD.
On the night of the incident, approximately 5,200 people were in attendance at the PNE Amphitheatre grounds.
— rylangriffiths (@rylangriffiths3) September 19, 2022
Following Lil Baby’s announcement of the cancellation, most attendees departed peacefully. However, around 1,000 individuals remained and expressed their disappointment through destructive actions.
Videos circulated on social media captured concertgoers tearing down tents, vandalizing waste bins and refrigerators, engaging in physical altercations, and climbing lamp posts.