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Back Story: Vancouver Riot “Kissing Couple” Identified

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By HVculture on June 17, 2011

It’s the photo that captivated the world for a day…

Amid the mini-riot engulfing the city of Vancouver following the 4-0 loss in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, Rich Lam of Getty Images snapped this photograph of a couple seemingly having some sexy time in the streets. The infamous “kissing” picture, Lam explains, was really just an accident:

I was covering last night’s Stanley Cup Playoffs for Getty Images when Vancouver erupted in riots after the Canucks’ Game 7 loss to the Boston Bruins. It was complete chaos. Rioters set two cars on fire and then I saw looters break the window at a neighboring department store. At that point, the riot police charged right towards us. After I stopped running, I noticed in the space behind the line of police that two people were laying in the street with the riot police and a raging fire just beyond them. I knew I had captured a “moment” when I snapped the still forms against the backdrop of such chaos but it wasn’t until later when I returned to the rink to file my photos that my editor pointed out that the two people were not hurt, but kissing.

But was it sexy kissing or comfort kissing? Was this a moment of hot passion or simply a man coming to the aid of his girlfriend? The girl in the photo may just have been hurt.

We still don’t know everything, but it appears the couple in the photo have been identified as 29-year-old Australian Scott Jones and his Canadian girlfriend Alex Thomas. That’s according to Hannah Jones, who says her brother has been living and working in Vancouver for six months.

Scott’s mother Megan told Australia’s 9News, “It is something he would do, that’s our boy. He has always lived in his own world, he’s special like that. He doesn’t always connect with what going on around him. I knew it was him because he doesn’t have a lot of clothes with him and he always puts on the same thing. I’d have to have my house flooded to get on the news, but he just has to kiss a beautiful girl.”

The CBC also confirmed the couple’s identity: Scott’s father, Brett Jones, “said Scott is fine, and Alex suffered a bruised leg from falling to the ground.”

The two are overwhelmed by all the coverage the picture has gotten, he said, noting that he has been fielding calls from media around the world.

“They are both just totally stunned by it, actually.”

The dad of the now-famous bartender-standup comedian said Scott was in Vancouver on a work visa, and is leaving in a few days for the U.S., and then heading back to Australia.

So what happened to Alex in the melee? A man wrote in to The Vancouver Sun to explain:

“I was on the top floor of a parkade on Seymour, the couple was right outside of the parkade on the street in front of me. What happen was the police line rushed the crowd and this couple trying to stay together couldn’t react in time and were run over my 2 riot police officers. The girl who was knocked over landed head first on the pavement with her boyfriend landed partially on top of her. She was in visible pain, crying, but the 2 officers gave them a parting shove and moved on. By standers went to go make sure she was ok. I understand that the front line police have to control the crowd but it is a bit ridiculous that they couldn’t have other officers or paramedics behind the line to help anyone who is hurt.”

This photo from above adds some context:

And The Sun also posted this exclusive video of what happened after the mysterious kiss:

So it’s time to consider this one a fantastic mystery solved. We hope she’s okay.

UPDATE: Jones and Thomas appeared on the TODAY Show on Monday:

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