He tried to stop rioters from entering The Bay but was swarmed and beaten by an angry mob – a horrific incident that went viral soon after footage of it was uploaded to YouTube. On Tuesday, Robert Mackay was back before the cameras, urging six people linked to the June 15 attack to turn themselves in.
“I’d just say admit to your crime. Don’t bother hiding from it. ... Just deal with it, get it over and move forward with your life,” he said during a news conference at Vancouver police headquarters.
Mr. Mackay’s plea came the same day the Crown approved charges against five more people alleged to have participated in the Stanley Cup riot, raising the total number to 43. Three of those against whom charges were laid Tuesday are accused of taking part in the attack on Mr. Mackay, in which he was punched, kicked, and pepper sprayed.
Still, half a dozen people accused of joining the assault Vancouver police characterized as “cowardly and gutless” remain at large, prompting the force to post their images online. If the six don’t come forward, police are asking the public to help identify them.
“I will not be satisfied until the other six have been held accountable, and neither will Robert,” said Inspector Les Yeo, the man in charge of the department’s riot investigation.
Mr. Mackay became something of a hero after video of the incident first surfaced. Heritage Minister James Moore tweeted “Canada needs more people with his character and courage.” The local hockey team agreed – Mr. Mackay dropped the puck during a ceremonial face-off at a Canucks game in October.
Mr. Mackay, who suffered bruised ribs during the attack, said he’d like to see the people accused of beating him held to account, though he’ll leave it up to the courts to comment on what type of punishment works best.
“They should be held accountable, either financially, or community service, or jail time, whatever it is,” he said. “That’s not for me to say.”
The Crown has approved 116 criminal counts against the 43 people charged in connection with the riot. Vancouver police have recommended 280 charges against 100 people. In B.C., the Crown must approve police recommendations, then lay charges.
Vancouver police have drawn criticism for their handling of the investigation. The force didn’t forward the first major batch of case files to the Crown until Oct. 31, four and a half months after the riot.
But Mr. Mackay, who spoke with The Globe and Mail in June and December, reiterated he has nothing negative to say about police.
“They did a wonderful job,” he said.