Walk of Shame for Canucks’ Fans in Morning After Riots

Vancouver, Canada. Vancouver faces a massive cleanup and mounting security concerns after hockey fans set parts of downtown ablaze and clashed with police, leaving hundreds hurt or arrested in Canada’s worst riots in years.

The city in normally sedate western Canada was calm but in a state of shock on Thursday after hooligans, including supporters of the Vancouver Canucks, poured into the streets to torch cars and loot several stores.

Volunteers showed up early and worked alongside city crews to help in the cleanup, but some streets were still full of smashed glass and many businesses remained closed.

As the Canucks’ dream of winning Canada’s first NHL championship in 18 years collapsed in a 4-0 thrashing by the visiting Boston Bruins late on Wednesday, the city was plunged into dangerous chaos for several hours.

Disgruntled fans set two police cruisers and 13 other cars on fire and police used tear gas to break up unruly mobs.

Almost 150 people required hospital treatment and close to 100 were arrested. Injuries included at least 12 stabbings, falls, head trauma and tear gas exposure, said Shaf Hussain, the spokesman of St. Paul’s hospital.

Vancouver’s police chief, Jim Chu, said nine officers were injured, including “some officers that suffered human bites.”

More than 100 people were arrested, said Chu, who promised to mete out tough justice to the “criminals, anarchists and thugs bent on destruction.”

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said “organized hoodlums bent on creating chaos incited the riot” and noted that the city proved with the 2010 Winter Olympics that it could hold peaceful gatherings. A local business leader estimated more than 50 businesses were damaged.

City councilor Suzanne Anton said the rioting has shaken Vancouver and overshadowed the hockey team’s playoff run.

“I just feel such a profound sense of disappointment,” Anton said. “We like to think we live in paradise here in Vancouver. It’s hard to imagine here.”

It was similar to the scene that erupted in the city in 1994 following the Canucks’ Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers.

Anton said there was no loss of life or police brutality in this latest incident, adding that dozens of volunteers patrolled the city’s entertainment strip on Thursday, picking up debris and garbage.

Dozens of dismayed commuters crowded around the smashed and plywood-covered display windows at the flagship Bay store, a historical building that was the first focus of rampaging looters on Wednesday night.

Someone had tacked a rough, handpainted sign that read: “On behalf of my team and my city, I am sorry.” People waited in line to sign it.

NBA star Steve Nash, who hails from nearby Victoria and the brother-in-law of Canucks forward Manny Malhotra, sent a Twitter message imploring the fans to stop the violence.

Some seemed to revel in the rampage, however, recording the vandalism on cell phones and video cameras.



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