B.C. teen accused of driving car into Burrard Inlet for livestream stunt charged

Click to play video: 'Man who allegedly deliberately drove his car into Burrard Inlet is facing charges'
Man who allegedly deliberately drove his car into Burrard Inlet is facing charges
The 19-year-old Metro Vancouver man allegedly deliberately drove his car into Burrard Inlet, police say, because a live streamer paid him to do it. He is now facing criminal charges. Kristen Robinson reports – May 8, 2024

A 19-year-old B.C. man accused of intentionally driving his car into Burrard Inlet in March has been criminally charged.

Jawad Mazen Fawwaz has been charged with mischief under $5,000 for allegedly driving his vehicle into the waters off Rocky Point Park on March 4, and jumping out before it submerged.

Port Moody police say a popular livestreamer allegedly paid him to carry out the stunt.

Click to play video: 'Man arrested after driving into Burrard Inlet'
Man arrested after driving into Burrard Inlet

“Our understanding is that the accused person here was being live-streamed by a very famous live streamer in the United States, and there was some kind of compensation offered for this individual to drive his vehicle into a body of water,” Const. Sam Zacharias said.

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City crews had to pull the car out the following morning, after setting up containment booms to try and limit possible environmental hazards.

Zacharias said the cleanup job cost the city thousands of dollars, and that Environment Canada is still working to address possible environmental damage.

“This was a very bizarre incident … it was really troubling for the community as well, people were understandably upset about it,” he said.

Lawyer Ravi Hira, K.C., with law firm Hira Rowan LLP, who is not connected to the case, said if Fawwaz is found guilty he could face lasting repercussions.

“Put simply, a criminal record is indelible,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Man drives car into Port Moody’s Burrard Inlet'
Man drives car into Port Moody’s Burrard Inlet

Under the Criminal Code, a conviction for mischief under $5,000 can leave an offender facing a two-year jail sentence or a $5,000 fine.

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It could also render them inadmissible to, or at least facing hurdles when trying to enter, the United States.

“You are going to run into problems at the border and you are likely going to have to spend money getting a waiver to allow you to enter into the United States,” Hira said.

“Further, a criminal record is harmful to job prospects. So for example, if you want a job in security, if you want a job dealing with children, if you want to be a teacher, if you want to be a professional such as a lawyer or an accountant, you will have to disclose your criminal record and there will be an assessment as to whether or not you are fit to have any one of these jobs.”

Hira said the Crown can also seek to recoup any money the accused may have been paid to pull the stunt.

If convicted, he added, their vehicle insurance would be void.

Click to play video: 'Car drives into Langley Quiznos'
Car drives into Langley Quiznos

Zacharias, meanwhile, said the incident should serve as a warning to other young people looking to cash in on a moment of online fame.

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“This case does demonstrate just some of the perils of social media and certainly how we can get ahead of ourselves,” he said.

“What I would say to someone else who was in this individual’s situation is think about the consequences.”

Fawwaz is due in court next week.

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