Newspaper: Montreal Police On The Lookout For Punk Riot Suspects

October 18, 2003

Sidhartha Banerjee of the Montreal Gazette reports that the 400 Montreal police officers who patrol the downtown area were supplied yesterday with pictures of the suspects who rioted and looted following the cancellation of a punk concert identified through television news footage (Video) and amateur video from witnesses.

"They will try to identify and arrest the suspects," said Constable Ian Lafrenière, a Montreal police spokesperson. "Some of these people are already known to our downtown officers and they've had contact with them before."

The riot began after two punk rock bands scheduled to perform at the Medley Tuesday night (October 14),THE EXPLOITED and TOTAL CHAOS, never made it past the Canada-U.S. border, causing the show to be cancelled.

By the time it was over, 42 cars were damaged — including eight that were burned completely. Eleven downtown businesses were damaged. Four police officers and two Medley employees suffered minor injuries.

Because many of the suspects, who are wanted on mischief-related charges, have no fixed address, finding them may be easier said than done, Lafrenière said.

At least eight people were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday, but most were released on promises to appear in court later on mischief charges.

"There is no major police operation and we haven't put more officers in the downtown area to find them," Lafrenière said. "We've simply asked the officers who already work here to keep an eye out for these suspects during their regular shifts."

Lafrenière said Montreal police are still trying to confirm whether an accelerant was used to ignite some of the blazes or whether it was simply gas leaking from the vehicles that caused the fires to spread rapidly.

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