A 17-year-old teen, Nathan Kotylak, from Burnaby, B.C. has turned himself in to the police Saturday after images appeared of him holding a burning shirt to an open gas tank of a Police cruiser worth over 5000$ during the Wednesday Stanley Cup riot.
Kotylak, a Vancouver elite water polo player from Maple Ridge , B.C., was identified by two sources who requested anonymity: a person associated with his elite water polo team and a family member who called the Vancouver Province.
The 17-year-old is noticeable for the notable pair of blue and orange running shoes he was wearing. He has not been charged, nor have the police mentioned about whether is to be investigated.
Kotylak comes from a well-to-do family in Maple Ridge, a community east of Vancouver, where his father, Dr. Greg Kotylak, is a general surgeon, his mother, Josephine Kotylak is a registered nurse considerably involved in water polo administration. The Kotylaks reportedly live in a $938,000 house.
Greg Kotylak told Global B.C., also noting that it was his son's decision to publicly apologize. Nathan's behaviour that night does not reflect his true character.
The teen is finishing Grade 12 at Meadowridge High School and has received a partial scholarship from Water Polo Canada to attend the University of Calgary, where he plans to study kinesiology.
Water Polo Canada confirmed Friday one of its athletes had been suspended pending an internal investigation and hearing. David Soul, executive director of the B.C. Water Polo Association, said he had seen better days.
The incident happened during the early stages of what turned into a five-hour long riot which made serious damage to police resources and caused millions in damages. If you want to manage a 100,000 crowd effectively, without having it turn into a riot, then we need probably 5,000 police officers, according to Vancouver's top cop, Mr Chu.
Vancouver's Premier, Christy Clark pledged Friday Those people who were involved in this, we will catch you, the premier said to thunderous applause. This investigation needs to happen quickly, it needs to be decisive, it needs to be well done and the provincial resources will be there to make sure it happens.
During the 2010 Games Olympics, there was a security team of 15,300, which included 6,000 police officers from across Canada and 4,500 members of the Canadian military.
Photographer Jonathan McMorran, who supplied the pictures to the Vancouver Province, is convinced the man was trying to set the vehicle alight.
He can't say for certain that the man in the picture was the one who succeeded in starting the blaze, because three or four people were making attempts inside the car.
When the car actually caught fire six minutes later at 8:32 p.m., the blaze was started from inside the vehicle, said McMorran, 28, of Vancouver.
But Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson insisted there was no advance warning that troublemakers were planning to disrupt the celebrations.
Radio 1040 sports host David Pratt believes that for some of the culprits a forethought was involved in the incident.
This wasn't a stupid, spontaneous, drunken act, he said. You actually have to do a bunch of things to set fire to a gas tank.
Pratt called for jail time to be handed out for people convicted of criminal offences.
The burning of the police cruiser has generated almost 1,000 comments on a Facebook page set up to condemn the act.
One of the Facebook user, Chris Cheung, wrote to let justice take its course. He is innocent until proven guilty.
If we descend to mob justice, we are no better than the rioters, Cheung wrote.
Phone calls and emails to the family were not immediately returned.
Ridge Meadows RCMP admitted calls have been received about his possible involvement, but referred all questions to Vancouver Police, who had no immediate comment.