CREEP CATCHER DEFIANT
Ryan LaForge wants a judge to set aside an order that he destroy videos, vowing that even if he’s jailed, ‘I’ll just do it again’
The defiant leader of Surrey Creep Catcher is going to court in a bid to set aside an order that he destroy videos of confrontations with two men who complained they were ambushed by the vigilante group.
Ryan LaForge has filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court that challenges a finding by acting information and privacy commissioner Drew McArthur that the group violated the privacy of the complainants.
“The commissioner is an idiot,” LaForge said in an interview Wednesday. “That’s why I’m appealing it. When a real judge sees it, it will get overturned for sure.”
The two men complained that the group induced them to have online communications with a fictitious woman over the age of 18, subsequently conveyed that the decoy was under the age of 16 and then arranged a meeting to confront each man for attempting to lure a minor.
The confrontations were videotaped and then disseminated on social media, prompting the men to complain to the commissioner that they hadn’t consented to the videos and their private information was improperly collected, used and disclosed.
In a ruling released last month, McArthur found that the organization had not obtained the consent of the two men and had no authority to collect their personal information. The two men are not identified.
McArthur dismissed the claim by Surrey Creep Catcher that they were acting as journalists and should be exempt from the applicable law and ordered that the videos and online communications be destroyed by Sept. 6.
In his petition, LaForge says the commissioner was wrong to characterize Surrey Creep Catcher as an organization since it has no defined structure or internal rules.
He says the group is an “ad hoc movement” of like-minded citizens dedicated to ensuring that individuals who expressed an interest in luring girls and boys for sexual purposes are exposed and hopefully charged and convicted.
Regarding the claims by LaForge that the group was engaged in journalism, McArthur found that there was no fair attempt to describe or analyze the facts or to provide opinion or debate and that the purpose of the exercise was instead entrapment.
But LaForge insisted that the group was fulfilling an important public service and at no time was there any expectation of privacy for the complainants.
“In any way, shape or form you want to look at, it’s journalism,” he said Wednesday. “There’s an epidemic going around. Pedophilia has been going on since the beginning of time and we’re just shedding light on it.”
While he’s hopeful a judge will quash the order, he added that he would give a judge the same defiant message if the petition is turned down.
“There’s nothing physically, there’s nothing hypothetically to stop me. The only thing they can do to stop me is put me in jail for awhile. And then when I get out, I’ll just do it again.”
A spokeswoman for the commissioner’s office said there will be a response filed in court to the petition. She added that there would be no comment at this time because the matter is before the courts.
“The only thing they can do to stop me is put me in jail for awhile. And then when I get out, I’ll just do it again.” — Ryan LaForge
Ryan LaForge of the Surrey Creep Catcher group has filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court challenging an order by B.C.’s acting privacy commissioner.
Two men complained to B.C.’s privacy commissioner that members of Surrey Creep Catcher, seen here posing for a photo, confronted them in public and then disseminated video of the confrontation on social media.