Police arrest 'elusive' riot suspect

Good Samaritan Robert Mackay is helped to safety by two people after being beaten, punched, kicked...

Good Samaritan Robert Mackay is helped to safety by two people after being beaten, punched, kicked and pepper sprayed by riots when he tried to protect a store front in the June 15, 2011 Stanley Cup Riot in Vancouver, B.C. (Jon Chiang/Jonchiang.com)

TYLER ORTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:28 PM ET

The Stanley Cup riot’s “most elusive” suspect has been arrested at his Saskatchewan workplace and charged with assaulting a Good Samaritan who tried to protect a downtown department store from looters, police announced Wednesday.

Jonathan Stephen Mahoney was taken into police custody Tuesday after leaving a washroom at the potash mine where he worked in Lanigan, Sask., said Insp. Laurence Rankin, commander of the Integrated Riot Investigation Team.

The 24-year-old, originally from Newfoundland, was working a temporary construction job in B.C. when the riot occurred June 15, 2011, but he left the province soon after.

Rankin said IRIT investigators eventually traced him to Winnipeg, 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 QMI Agency 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.

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.


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