Spa offers services for Stanley Cup riot confessions
Published Saturday, October 29, 2011 10:24PM EDT
Rioters who trashed the streets of Vancouver after the Stanley Cup finals are being asked to turn themselves in to police in exchange for a day at the spa.
A British Columbia spa is offering a $50 gift certificate to rioters willing to own up to any crimes committed during the mass mayhem last June.
"Confess and let us pay that bill to get you to confess," said Eccotique Salon & Spa owner Milajne Soligo.
Guilty consciences can be traded for indulgences like manicures, pedicures and massages.
Rioters who take the bait will be asked to stamp their fingerprints onto gift cards resembling forensic documents which read "Calm down and de-stress."
To qualify, applicants also need to present Eccotique with photo identification and describe any illegal activity they may have carried out during the Stanley Cup riots such as looting or arson.
There is another caveat: "That gift card would not become active until they came back and showed us an official Vancouver police arrest form," said Soligo.
Chaos erupted on the streets of downtown Vancouver last June after the Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals to the Boston Bruins. Rioters looted local businesses, torched cars and fought one another during the melee.
By the end of the night, the city had suffered millions of dollars worth of damage.
In its website promotion of the deal, Eccotique touts their proposal as a win-win situation for alleged rioters and the Vancouver Police Department.
"These people obviously had a lot of pent up anger during all the chaos," the advertisement reads. "We think they need to learn how to calm down and relax, which fits perfectly with our spa offerings."
But the offer is getting mixed reviews from the public and business owners, many of whom had their shops trashed during the riots.
Charles Gauthier of the Vancouver Downtown Business Association accused the spa of trivializing the significance of what happened on June 15.
He called the spa proposal "a cheap gimmick to capitalize on a real unfortunate event that happened."
Other Vancouverites had similar criticisms.
"If they're going to turn themselves in, it should be because they feel guilty about their part in the riot and not for a $50 gift certificate," one man told CTV Vancouver.
Vancouver police have placed 40 charges in the riots and said last month that they expect many more to come.
Police said those 40 charges will be formally announced on Halloween, the same day Eccotique's spa offer expires.
With files from CTV's Vancouver Bureau Chief Sarah Galashan