Police blame Facebook and Twitter for riot after Blainville rock concert
Published Sunday, August 18, 2013 2:37PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, August 18, 2013 10:24PM EDT
Police in Quebec are blaming social media for a riot that broke out after a rock concert north of Montreal, late Saturday night.
Police arrested 19 people after a crowd refused to leave a music festival following an outdoor performance by rock band “Les Trois Accords” in the city of Blainville -- located around 40 kilometres north of Montreal.
According to Blainville police, the crowd grew and the scene escalated after news of the violence was put on social media.
“They want to be cool,” Stephane Giguere of the Blainville police told CTV Montreal. “They want to be seen on Facebook.”
Rioters flipped over a police car and set it on fire. They also tossed bottles and other objects at officers on the scene. At the height of the riot, police say 1,000 people were involved.
A Blainville spokesperson said alcohol may also have played a role.
“We had a lot of cans of beers on the floor, on the sidewalks,” Yves Meunier said.
Blainville police called in reinforcements from neighbouring municipalities to deal with the riot. In total, 80 officers were on scene.
The riot was brought to an end at around 2 a.m. Sunday.
All of the arrested suspects were between the ages of 14 and 22, and 10 were minors.
The suspects were released on a promise to appear in court at a later time. They face multiple charges, including charges related to mischief, arson and participating in a riot.
Police are combing social media for pictures of the riot and say they plan to make more arrests.
With report from CTV Montreal’s Rob Lurie and files from The Canadian Press