PORT ALBERTI, BRITISH COLUMBIA – A Canadian couple may face charges after live-streaming their home-brewed sting operation Thursday against a man they called a “predator” looking to have sex with their 13-year-old daughter.
The suspect, an unidentified 28-year-old man, has not been charged for showing up to the parents’ home in Port Alberti, British Columbia, CTV reported.
The girl’s mother reportedly invited the man to her home after intercepting sexually explicit messages she says the man had sent her daughter via Instagram.
Dramatic footage taken from the house shows the hogtied man writhing on the floor as a woman berates him. “He wanted to be her first,” says the person videotaping the incident, which was broadcast on Facebook Live. “We f***ing tackled him and zap strapped him and called the police.”
WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE CONTENT
Moreover, the teen girl’s unnamed mother told CTV in an interview that she had alerted the police more than a month before the episode. However, she claims they were unresponsive.
The mother was not identified so the 13-year-old would remain nameless.
“They wouldn’t even look at my phone. They just said to block him and forget it,” she claimed. “I’ve been waiting for six weeks for the police to give me a name behind the Instagram account.”
“I’m arrested because we caught a predator the police refused to catch,” the woman says at the end of the video, turning the camera towards herself.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the country’s federal law enforcement body, disputed that account. According to authorities, the man in the video was in fact under investigation for child solicitation since March, after the mother brought the matter to their attention.
The police told the woman not to take matters into her own hands, according to the RCMP.
Nevertheless, the parents of the daughter believe their actions were justified. Yet they are apparently under investigation and facing potential charges for assault and unlawful restraint.
Police wouldn’t comment on the footage, but Cpl. Amelia Hayden confirmed Friday that the woman had visited the local RCMP detachment and told authorities that the man was allegedly trying to visit her underage daughter.
“The police had directed her not to take matters into her own hands, that we were investigating it,” Hayden said. “She was directed not to make the meet happen.”
The corporal said the man who was restrained has been under investigation since March, but Thursday’s events may have compromised police efforts.
“Vigilante actions like these are not only illegal and put people in danger, but they also have the potential to compromise the original investigation,” Hayden said. “It hasn’t resolved one issue—it’s caused another and put people in danger, everybody.”
The mother and stepfather said they’re concerned about the potential charges against them, but that they were left with no choice.
“I’m kind of disgusted by the system myself, in that she went in begging for help yesterday,” the stepfather said. “She’s been asking for help from the police for the last six weeks for this and not really anything’s happened. I didn’t know what to do yesterday, right?”
The couple said they felt it was important to document the alleged incident on social media to inform other parents in the small community about a man they believed to be a sexual predator.
“At least now, everybody that knows him…they can protect their own kids because they know what’s going on,” he said. “That’s all that we wanted—was just to be able to protect the kids.”