A quiet Vancouver Island neighbourhood says it has been terrorized by a group of young people taking part in the TikTok door-knock challenge.
This involves banging on someone’s door, using hands or feet, and then running away without getting caught — and documenting the ordeal on the social media platform.
“It got to the point where it was frightening,” a neighbour told Global News. They wanted to be anonymous for fear of being targeted again.
“You’d be sitting in the evening watching the news and all of a sudden it would sound like the whole door was coming in, and so you’d get up to go and away they’d be running, giggling and laughing at us.”
But last Sunday, a resident of Crown Isle in Courtenay, B.C., decided he’d had enough.
Owen May, who declined an on-camera interview, told Global News in an email that he set up a trip wire with fishing line outside his front door.
“I’m a local recreational fisherman, and I gotta catch of a lifetime (the) other night,” May told Global News by email.
“After four to four-and-a-half years of having young men coming and kicking at my door, and the doors of my neighbors, which are mainly seniors between 12 and 2 a.m., One of them (got) tangled in a piece of my fishing line I left outside my door.
May shared his porch camera footage with Global News, showing a young man approaching his door, kicking it a few times, then attempting to run away but tripping over the wire. May had pulled it tight from the other side of the door and as the teen fell down, May’s wife pounced on him.
May said an assault ensued from the altercation, which put him and his wife in the hospital.
She suffered lacerations to her eye and he received injuries to his feet and legs, he said.
RCMP was not available to comment to Global News on the incident but an email to May, shared with Global News, said officers had identified two youths involved.
“I will be forwarding my report to Crown Counsel with recommendations of charges,” RCMP wrote to May.
“Please be advised however the Youth Criminal Justice Act provides guidelines to law enforcement and the courts in regards to charges against youth. As neither youth has any prior criminal charges or history there is a strong possibility the courts will refer it to Restorative Justice measures.”
May said he has been made aware he could be facing charges as well under section 247 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada that states traps cannot be used that are likely to cause bodily harm.
Criminal lawyer Sarah Leamon, who is not involved with the case, told Global News that vigilante actions, such as these, are generally discouraged.
“It’s possible that there could a variety of different charges laid against a variety of different parties,” she said. “It doesn’t seem like a very clear-cut situation, it’s very complex, and so it’s going to require further police investigation to determine what’s appropriate.”
May said the fishing line was not fixed and did not lock, therefore it was not a trap.