'Elusive' suspected rioter arrested in Saskatchewan 0
Integrated Riot Investigation Team commander Insp. Laurence Rankin announces Wednesday police have arrested the last suspect in the beating of a Good Samaritan Robert Mackay during a press conference in Vancouver. (CARMINE MARINELLI/24 HOURS)
The Stanley Cup riot's "most elusive" suspect has been arrested at his Saskatchewan workplace and charged with assaulting a Good Samaritan who tried protecting a downtown department store from looters, police announced Wednesday.
Integrated Riot Investigation Team commander Insp. Laurence Rankin told reporters Jonathan Stephen Mahoney was taken into police custody Tuesday after leaving a washroom at the potash mine where he worked in Lanigan, Sask.
The 24-year-old, originally from Newfoundland, was working a temporary construction job in the Lower Mainland when the riot occurred June 15, 2011, but he left B.C. soon after.
Rankin said IRIT investigators eventually traced him to Winnipeg, Man., but Mahoney had already moved on to Conception Harbour, N.L., before finally settling in Saskatchewan. Investigators escorted him on a flight back to Vancouver where he landed Wednesday afternoon.
Video footage of assault victim Robert Mackay went viral last year after it showed him trying to protect the storefront windows of The Bay from rioters. The crowd then swarmed Mackay when a man, whom police allege to be Mahoney, speared him with a pole.
Mackay told 24 hours he still thinks about the assault every day.
"It's pretty incredible to see everyone's efforts and resources being put into that and getting this guy," he said, adding he won't be able to put the entire experience behind him until Mahoney's final day in court.
IRIT has now identified and recommended charges against all 15 people allegedly involved in the attack and Mackay plans to be there in court - schedule permitting - to watch Mahoney go through the legal process.
Meanwhile, Rankin also announced Wednesday IRIT was recommending 200 criminal charges against 50 suspected rioters. Recommended charges include nine counts of assault and three counts of arson.