Two men arrested near campus after causing disturbance, insulting women

Police arrived on the scene after being contacted by Campus Security 

Carapella being escorted to a police vehicle Thursday afternoon.
Photo: 

This story was updated with new information on Jan. 24 at 2:55 p.m. 

A dramatic scene unfolded Thursday afternoon as two men wearing offensive signs were arrested on the corner of University Ave. and Earl St. for making anti-women statements to students passing by.

Kingston Police charged both men with causing a disturbance by shouting.

The two men, identified in an April 2015 CBC report as Steven Ravbar and Matthew Carapella, held signs referencing Bible verses, including quotes like “The judgement of the great whore” and “She that lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.” On their backs, the two men wore signs that said “Behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven” and “Remember Lot’s wife.”

As female students walked by, the two men asked if they were Christians or called them whores. They suggested women should wear “long, loose-fitting” skirts or face eternal damnation.

Ravbar and Carapella standing on University Ave. before police arrived. Photo: Jodie Grieve

The two men declined The Journal’s repeated requests for comment.

Campus Security arrived on the scene, but were unable to convince the men to leave. Campus Security wouldn’t provide a comment to The Journal at the time, but stated they had called Kingston Police, adding that because the two men technically weren’t on University property, they were unable to escort them away from campus.

Three police vehicles arrived and the two men were arrested.

Ravbar and Carapella made names for themselves for their street preaching in London, Ontario, racking up more than 75 complaints over their time preaching there. CBC, which followed the two men from 2015 to 2019, reported that Carapella was previously a Western University football star and Ravbar was his grade seven teacher.

Carapella being arrested by police Thursday. Photo: Jodie Grieve.

The two men’s behaviour was condemned as gender discrimination by London Mayor Matt Brown in 2017. They were arrested for the first time a year later in the United States, but weren’t arrested in Canada until 2019. London City Council amended its public nuisance bylaw to prohibit “abusive and insulting” language in 2018, giving police the jurisdiction to arrest the two men last March.

In April of 2019, the two men faced additional charges of criminal mischief. They went to court on April 15, 2019, for public nuisance charges, and again last May for criminal mischief.

Carapella's sign and Bible lie on the sidewalk after he was placed in a police cruiser. Photo: Jodie Grieve.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.