A local woman was among the victims of the riot following the Vancouver Canucks’ Stanley Cup loss to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night, adding more distress to a life already filled with challenges.
Crystal Ratvay, 30, has been suffering with post-traumatic migraine disorder since 2005, when the car in which she was a passenger smashed into a power pole.
The pain became so debilitating that she dropped out of college, lost her job in a bank and moved back home with her parents in Abbotsford.
Three months ago, Crystal decided she would forge ahead, despite her setbacks. She moved to Chilliwack and enrolled in school again.
In April, her car broke down. It would cost more than $2,500 to fix, far beyond what Crystal could afford.
On Wednesday, something good happened. An aunt, who lives in Port Coquitlam, said Crystal could have her old car. It was a red 1990 Chevy Cavalier, still in good running order.
Crystal’s good friend, Michael, lives in an apartment in Vancouver and she made plans to watch the final Stanley Cup game with him.
She parked her car on Seymour Street near a church parking lot.
When the rioting began, they looked down on the street. Crystal saw a girl walking through the crowd and get pushed into someone else, who then punched her.
People were throwing beer bottles, and there were fights all around.
At 11 p.m., they ventured into the street. It was dark and gloomy, and the windows of every store they passed were shattered. Police and clean-up crews were everywhere.
They arrived at her car, and discovered the Cavalier had been flipped onto its roof. Smashed glass littered the ground around the vehicle.
Crystal was crushed not only by what had been done to her, but to an entire city. She slumped to the ground, leaned against the wall, and wept.
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Almost 70 Abbotsford Police officers were deployed to Vancouver to assist with riot control.
The officers were already prepared to deal with any problems in Abbotsford, where thousands of fans had gathered along South Fraser Way after games as the Canucks advanced through the playoffs.
Const. Ian MacDonald said the situation in Abbotsford was peaceful and there were no issues.
The hunt is now on to identify the perpetrators of the orgy of destruction and looting in downtown Vancouver in the wake of the Canucks Stanley Cup loss.
Metro Vancouverites quickly banded together on social media, vowing to out the offenders, pooling photos and video captured during Wednesday night’s riot.
The site identifyrioters.com allows users to browse photos and identify rioters and looters by their Facebook name. Photos and names are sent to the Vancouver Police Department once multiple users have made a positive ID.
Also being used is the Vancouver 2011 Riot Criminals List on Tumblr at http://vancityriotcriminals.tumblr.com.
Multiple Facebook pages also urge followers to identify perpetrators from photos shared there.