A controversial vigilante group has arrived in Chilliwack, and their actions led to a recent charge of child luring against a 67-year-old man.
The charge is in connection with an Oct. 7 incident when Don Putt of Chilliwack showed up at the McDonald’s restaurant in Vedder Crossing, expecting to meet a 12-year-old boy.
Instead, he met members of the Fraser Valley chapter of Creep Catchers, a group of vigilantes who pose as underage boys and girls on dating websites, arrange meetings, film those meetings and then shame the alleged offenders on social media.
“He offered the decoy a ride on his scooter and offered the 12-year-old a bed in his motorhome,” the group wrote on its Facebook page describing the incident.
In the video, Putt insists he showed up to meet what he thought was a 12-year-old boy “just to talk to him, nothing more.”
Confronted by a group of the vigilantes, they pointed to chat logs they recorded where he allegedly turned the conversation sexual. The group said his ad was “plastered with lewd pictures” and he asked the decoy what he thought.
“I’ve done nothing wrong,” Putt insisted in the video. “I knew this could be a set-up.”
One of the voices behind the camera asked why he showed up if he knew that, adding that he “still lured a minor.”
Chilliwack RCMP would not release any of the details on the case after the alleged encounter was posted on Facebook. But Putt’s name appeared on the daily docket at the Chilliwack Law Courts this week.
The 67-year-old has no other interactions with provincial courts in B.C., according to Court Services Online.
He now faces one count of telecommunicating to lure a child under the age of 14, but also one count of sexual interference from July 1, 1985 in Agassiz.
It’s unclear what the 31-year-old charge relates to, but the Creep Catchers Facebook page said they have now heard other stories of abuse from Putt.
No one from the Fraser Valley chapter responded to a request for comment before the Times went to press.
Putt was taken in to custody on Oct. 16 and had a court appearance on Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. Crown counsel planned to ask for Putt’s detention, while his lawyer, Martin Finch, said his client wanted to ask the court for his release on “significant” bail.
Due to scheduling issues, Judge Wendy Brown said she could not render a decision that day so the bail hearing had to be postponed.
As of Thursday Putt remained in custody.