EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to include comments from Surrey RCMP.
SURREY — In a post to his Facebook page, the president of Surrey Creep Catcher claims police have put a warrant out for his arrest after letting him go Wednesday following a sting in which the group alleges a man had come to meet a seven-year-old girl.
A call to LaForge was not immediately returned.
In his post, LaForge said the group is “gonna step our game up.”
“Were going to get security licenses and a legal team for real,” he added.
LaForge also said he would be turning himself in.
Surrey RCMP said they arrested two men after responding to a call from 10100 block of King George Boulevard on Wednesday at 6:25 p.m. regarding allegations of child luring. Police say both people have been released while the investigation continues.
Police say they are aware of – and have seen – a video allegedly depicting a portion of the incident.
No charges have been laid in either case.
Ryan LaForge’s organization aims to weed out “potential predators” by posing as children online, arranging to meet adults who think they’ve been communicating with a child, confronting them, filming them and then posting the videos on Facebook.
LaForge has been slapped with a promise to appear (PTA) in Surrey provincial court on June 7, on an allegation of assault related to what he described as a citizens arrest. The incident took place on April 3rd, when LaForge was doing a sting on a man who he alleges came to pay for sex with a six-year-old.
LaForge can be seen on video pushing a man into a corner and yelling at him to stay put.
“I performed a clean citizens arrest,” LaForge told the Now-Leader. “Yeah, I may have got a little heated but everything was controlled.”
A PTA, Surrey RCMP Corporal Scotty Schumann noted, is not a charge.
“It is a process to get a person to court,” he explained. “A charge is contained on an information sworn by a justice of the peace or a judge at court. Only a sworn information is a charge.”
On Thursday morning, Surrey RCMP repeated its position on Creep Catchers.
“The RCMP does not support, condone or recommend vigilantism,” police said in a release. “Vigilantism, no matter how well meaning, does not involve police and therefore is void of ongoing safety considerations. Vigilantism is a risk to the safety of all those involved including victims or potential victims, the alleged suspects, and or the safety of those persons intent on broadcasting the suspected crime.”
Meanwhile, the man targeted by LaForge and his group in the April 3rd incident, 35-year-old Juljindenr Singh Bhatti, has been charged after allegedly trying to lure a minor for sexual purpose.
The allegations have not been proven in court.
Earlier this month, LaForge told the Now-Leader he is undeterred by lawsuits and complaints to the privacy commissioner recently lodged by the people they target and “blast” online.
With files from Tom Zytaruk