The president of the vigilante group, Surrey Creep Catchers, has been charged with two counts of assault following a pair of "stings" that targeted men the group believed to be soliciting sex from children.
Surrey RCMP issued a warrant for Ryan Laforge's arrest Thursday following investigations launched after two separate Creep Catcher ambushes in the 10100 block of King George Boulevard last month.
On April 3, Laforge was arrested at the scene of a Creep Catcher confrontation with a man the group claimed was soliciting a six-year-old girl for sex. Laforge is now being charged with assault and uttering threats.
Then, on April 19, police were called to a sting on the same block. Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann says Laforge fled the scene before officers arrived. An investigation resulted in a second assault charge.
Schumann says Lance Loy, 37, also part of the Creep Catchers group, was arrested at the incident and faces an assault charge. A third man who has not yet been identified was also present and is still under investigation.
"We are still investigating to determine what offence, if any, that person has committed," said Schumann.
The two men targeted by the vigilantes have been charged with child luring.
The development is the latest of a series of controversial events involving the vigilante group.
Multiple defamation lawsuits have been filed against the group's president this year. Surrey RCMP are urging people not to take the law into their own hands.
"No matter how well meaning people are, there is a certain amount of risk when you confront people alleged to commit a crime. We're the professionals, that's what we're here to do," said Schumann.
"Some of these investigations — especially involving child luring, are very complex. And our goal is not only to identify who the predators are, but we also want to ensure a sound investigation that will lead to successful prosecution as well as taking care of the victims and making sure predators can't victimize anybody else."