Five Langley RCMP officers were among a group of 100 police who were shifted from the quiet streets of Surrey Wednesday night to quell the riot that erupted in Vancouver after the Canucks lost game 7 of the Stanley Cup.
Police from Delta, Surrey and Langley were assigned to patrol the intersection of Scott Road and 72 Avenue which is the historical gathering for Canucks fans during playoffs.
“No one showed up,” said RCMP Cpl. Drew Grainger, the operational planner in charge of crowd management in Surrey.
Crowds who gathered at other sites to watch the defeat on big screens indoors and outdoors peacefully dispersed, Grainger said.
The Langley officers and other police at the quiet Scott Road intersection didn’t stay there long.
They were quickly ordered to join the fight against rioters downtown Vancouver Wednesday night.
Most didn’t get home until the next morning.
Grainger said one officer in the 100 suffered a non-life-threatening head injury from a thrown projectile.
Other Langley officers who belong to the Lower Mainland Integrated Tactical Team also joined the battle to control out-of-control crowds.
People set fires, vandalized property, and looted stores in the Vancouver downtown core, including the iconic Bay store on Granville Street.
Windows were smashed and 15 cars were burned.
Liquor stores and other retailers such as London Drugs were broken into.
Police released tear gas to disperse crowds on Granville and Georgia Streets.
The trouble started in the closing seconds of the game when a thick plume of smoke wafted above the crowd on West Georgia Street in front of the central post office building near the stadium, believed to be from fireworks.
Moments later, a car burst into flames and fights broke out. Then, a second car was flipped and burst into flames.
Unlike the Canucks previous losses in the series, the crowds did not disperse quickly from the fan zones.
- with files from Black Press