polo beach maui Man caught in Vancouver riot photos tearfully apologizes
Pictures show the fully equipped cruiser, worth more than $50,000, on fire, as an excited crowd looks on at a parking lot at Cambie and Georgia streets in downtown Vancouver.The teenager, who is noticeable in the photo for the distinctive pair of blue and orange running shoes he was wearing, waived his rights as a young offender to go public with his apology Saturday evening.”I want to own up to what I did and encourage others to do the same,” Kotylak told Global. “I’m just ashamed.”The incident happened during the early stages of what turned into a five hour long riot that taxed police resources to the limit and caused millions of dollars in damages.Kotylak was identified by two sources who requested anonymity: a person associated with his elite water polo team and a family member who called the Vancouver Province.He has not been charged, nor have police said he is being investigated.Ridge Meadows RCMP admitted calls have been fielded about his possible involvement, but referred all questions to Vancouver police, who had no immediate comment.Kotylak, a promising young water polo star who is in Grade 12, comes from a well to do family in Maple Ridge where his dad,
Dr. Greg Kotylak, is a general surgeon.His mother, Josephine Kotylak, is a registered nurse and heavily involved in water polo administration.Although they did not name him, Water Polo Canada confirmed Friday one of its athletes had been suspended pending an internal investigation and hearing.”We are aware that there are allegations a national team athlete allegedly vandalized a police vehicle during the riots,” executive director Ahmed El Awadi said Friday. reported that Kotylak has been suspended from the Canadian National Junior team.Phone calls and emails to the family were not immediately returned.He has received a partial scholarship from Water Polo Canada to attend the University of Calgary, where he plans to study kinesiology.”There have been so many great water polo players from Maple Ridge, and I’ve been lucky enough to play with most of them,” he told the Maple Ridge News recently in a feature article.A family member told the Vancouver Province the media should be cautious about feeding into the lynch mob mentality that is occurring on Internet sites as a result of the astonishing pictures.The person said the youth was egged on by the crowd and noted that the young man is currently under a great deal of pressure.A person associated with the water polo team said there will not be much sympathy if Kotylak did in fact try to set the cruiser alight.”People have to be held accountable,” he said.Photographer Jonathan McMorran, who supplied additional pictures of the incident to newspaper, believes the man was trying to set the vehicle alight.”I was five feet away when this man was lighting a shirt on fire and putting it in the gas tank. But I don’t think the shirt was far enough inside,” he said.He can’t say for certain that the man in the picture was the one who succeeded in starting the blaze,
because three or four people were making attempts inside the car.