Friend speaks out in support of accused arsonist

Former NHL tough guy, Stephen Peat, ‘has a heart of gold,’ says his friend, Howie Zaron

A good friend of former NHL tough guy Stephen Peat is speaking out on behalf of his long-time buddy who is charged with torching the Peat family home in Brookswood last week.

“Stephen just really wanted to say that there are allegations and there are truths,” said Howie Zaron.

Zaron said Peat has the strong support of his real friends and his family, including his dad.

“Stephen and his dad are tight and his brother is supporting him too,” Zaron told The Times.

“Peaty has a heart of gold,” said Zaron. He wants to support Peat in whatever path he needs to go in the next while.

Peat, 35, had been in jail since his arrest on March 19, but posted $1,000 bail on Monday. His next scheduled appearance is April 25 in Surrey Provincial Court.

Fire broke out at Peat’s family home in the 4400 block of 208A Street on Tuesday night (March 17), just before 11 p.m.

Police were called when a passerby witnessed someone lighting the home on fire. That witness attempted to thwart the arson but the fire had already taken hold of the home.

Officers learned that a domestic dispute between the father and son in the home had taken place earlier that day, but was renewed later that evening.

The father went to bed for the night, and luckily the basement tenant wasn’t home at the time when the house was set ablaze.

Langley RCMP were searching for Peat and put out a brief description of the suspect after the fire. He turned himself in on Thursday.

He is charged with arson with a disregard to human life and arson causing damage to property.