- Our Town
‘Green man’ faces riot charges in Salmon Arm
A Salmon Arm man accused of being involved in last year’s Stanley Cup riot is now formally facing charges.
Andrew Comber, who is charged with participating in a riot, mischief and arson, was arrested Saturday in his Salmon Arm home, said Sgt. Howard Chow, media relations office for the Integrated Riot Investigation Team.
Comber, 38, allegedly lit a stuffed bear on fire and threw it onto an overturned truck during the riots, which took place after the Vancouver Canucks loss to Boston in the Stanley Cup Finals on June 15, 2011.
Fans angry at losing to the Boston Bruins went on a rampage in downtown Vancouver, causing millions of dollars in damage.
Police say Comber had painted himself green and was very active on the night of the riot. He was spotted taunting police in many locations, an RCMP release says.
Comber is also wanted on charges dating back to 2004 in Alberta, where he is accused of causing a disruption after a Calgary Flames hockey game. The Southern Alberta Integrated Fugitive Apprehension Unit – similar to the Con Air program in B.C. – will fly Comber back to Alberta to face charges of assaulting and obstructing a peace officer, resisting arrest, mischief, failure to appear, possession of a controlled substance and alcohol offences.
“With the help and support of partner police agencies, rioters won’t be able to escape justice by hiding in their communities,” Inspector Les Yeo, who is leading the Vancouver Police Department’s riot investigation, wrote in a statement released early Sunday.
In 2005, Comber, who had previously been in prison, was featured in the Observer for successfully completing his high school graduation requirements and earning his Dogwood diploma as part of the Storefront School program.
Chow says Comber’s distinctive body painting assisted them in the investigation. Thousands of images were taken by photographers during the riot and many have been posted on a special Vancouver Police website, which is urging people to provide police with tips on the identity of perpetrators.
Chow says 84 per cent of all the rioters with charges recommended are from outside Vancouver, so they are eager for more people to view the photos and provide information. The website is www.riot2011.vpd.ca.