Supporters of notorious Surrey vigilante group call on police to ‘free Ryan’
Editors note: A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed statements to the Surrey Creep Catchers that were posted by another Facebook page using a similar name.
Supporters of notorious Surrey vigilante group are calling on police to ‘free Ryan’ after a video posted Wednesday appeared to show him being taken into police custody.
Police have not confirmed the identity of the person arrested, but supporters of the Surrey Creep Catchers (SCC) have been posting messages of support to Ryan Laforge’s Facebook page reading, “Free Ryan,” and “Justice system sucks.”
Reached by Facebook Messenger on Thursday, Laforge declined to comment.
A video uploaded to Facebook on Wednesday appears to show Laforge saying “SCC for life” as he is handcuffed and placed in the back of a police vehicle.
SCC claims to expose alleged child sexual predators through live-streamed sting operations that involve group members confronting their targets in a public place.
Surrey RCMP confirms that it made an arrest on Wednesday after a private security guard reported two men chasing a third.
WATCH: Creep catchers’ most violent takedown yet (April, 2017)
Cpl. Scotty Schuman said when police arrived, they discovered it was a vigilante group which claimed it was pursuing a man involved in child luring, who had escaped.
“One member of that vigilante group had an outstanding warrant from the Chilliwack registry of [BC] Supreme Court alleging that he may be in contempt of court and we should apprehend that person,” said Schuman.
“We did take that person into custody, and he will be making an appearance today.”
Schuman added that Mounties are also investigating the group’s allegation of child luring.
WATCH: Innocent man says Creep Catchers made a mistake (Oct., 2016)
In recent months, Laforge has had a string of run-ins with police and the courts related to the group’s tactics.
Back in April, Laforge was charged with assault and uttering threats after a confrontation with a man near the Central City Shopping centre.
Video from the encounter shows Laforge cursing at the man and shoving him against a wall.
The target of a sting, Kuljinder Singh Bhattiwas, was also charged with child luring.
WATCH: Surrey Creep Catchers in the news again (April, 2017)
Laforge and Lance Loy, another member of the SCC, were each dealt another charge of assault after another, similar confrontation later in April.
The target of that sting was also arrested.
Laforge is also embroiled in several civil actions.
WATCH: Surrey Creep Catchers president speaking out about lawsuit (March, 2017)
The Surrey Creep Catchers have gone to court to fight an order from B.C.’s privacy commissioner to remove material posted online regarding two subjects of the group’s stings.
The men had complained to the privacy watchdog, who found the group’s tactics, including misrepresenting itself in online communications and live streaming stings without consent, contravened B.C. privacy laws.
Laforge is also facing more than one defamation suit from men who claim he has misidentified them as pedophiles online.
A Campbell River man claims Laforge and others in the vigilante group created social media posts that called him a “pedo” and “creep.”
Laforge is facing a separate suit from another man who claims the SCC president wrote Facebook posts that wrongly accused him of seeking sexual relations with an under-aged girl.
– With files from Jesse Ferreras and Jon Azpiri
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