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Concerns raised after TTC fare inspectors pin rider to ground, trigger large police response

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Feb 21st, 2018

Bystanders are raising concerns about an incident involving TTC fare inspectors and a rider that triggered a large police response on Sunday afternoon.

According to witness Bethany McBride, a boy who looked around 15 years old was getting off the streetcar at St. Clair Avenue West and Bathurst Street, when a fare inspector grabbed him by the back of his coat and dragged him back into the vehicle.

“It looked like he was going to get off and they were making their rounds checking people’s transfers and they wanted to catch him before he made his way off the [streetcar],” McBride said.

“I saw the [teen] react semi-aggressively, in a defensive manner.”

She said the teen shoved the inspector, prompting an altercation, and then the two fare inspectors dragged the kid off the streetcar and pinned him to the ground.

Police were called to assist, around 4:30 p.m., and when they arrived they found a large crowd had gathered around the inspectors and the boy, who is Black, who was struggling to get free.

In a video McBride shot of the incident, the boy says, “I didn’t do anything, though,” and “You’re hurting me. You’re hurting me.”

She said he didn’t seem to be fighting back or trying to escape and there was blood and dirt on his face.

 

Officers said they handcuffed the boy because he was resisting and refused to put his hands behind his back — and they escorted him next to a squad car where it was quieter.

The boy was visibly upset and identified himself to officers.

Police found the boy hadn’t committed any criminal offence and immediately released him.

TTC spokesman Stuart Green said fare inspectors should only be using force as a “defensive mechanism.”

“They would never, for example, physically remove someone for not paying a fare,” he said.

“The use of force for fare inspectors is very specific around defence and evasion, that kind of thing.”

Green said the TTC is investigating — including reviewing surveillance video of the incident and questioning the fare inspectors — and will take “appropriate action.”

“What we’ve seen in the video is, of course, of great concern to us,” he said.

All eyes on Brown as Ontario legislature resumes ahead of spring election

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Feb 20th, 2018

Ontario Conservative leadership candidate Patrick Brown addresses supporters and the media in Toronto on Sunday, February 18, 2018. The former party leader resigned his position after sexual misconduct allegations, only to re-enter race for his vacated position after refuting the allegations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO – As the Ontario legislature resumes sitting today for the final session before a spring election, all eyes will be on Patrick Brown — if the former Progressive Conservative leader shows up to take his set.

The 39-year-old politician from Barrie, Ont., will have to sit as an independent after being booted out of the Tory caucus last week — just hours before he declared his intention to run for his old job.

He stepped down from the leadership late last month amid allegations of sexual misconduct, but has since mounted a campaign to clear his name.

He has threatened to sue CTV News, which reported the allegations, but the network has said it stands by its reporting.

Brown’s entry into the leadership race threatens to overshadow his opponents — Toronto lawyer Caroline Mulroney, former Toronto councillor Doug Ford, former Tory legislator Christine Elliott and social conservative activist Tanya Granic Allen.

Online voting takes place early next month, with the winner to be announced March 10.

The Tory turmoil comes as all three parties gear up for a general election set for June 7.

Peel police investigate second Brampton shooting

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Feb 20th, 2018

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Peel police are investigating a second shooting in Brampton on Monday.

Officers responded to a call for a shooting incident in the Almond Street and Vanderpool Crescent area around 8 p.m.

A 37-year-old Brampton man suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to a Toronto trauma centre.

Police believe the shooting took place in the street and say it is an isolated incident, with no immediate concern for public safety.

Police say at this time, there is no link to the shooting on Vodden Court earlier in the day and the investigation is ongoing.

Tactical and K-9 units are on scene and citizens are being asked to avoid the area.

Canada’s Sharpe wins gold in women’s ski halfpipe at Winter Olympics

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Feb 20th, 2018

Cassie Sharpe, of Canada, celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's halfpipe final at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Canadian freestyle skier Cassie Sharpe has won gold in the women’s ski halfpipe competition at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Sharpe, from Comox, B.C., finished with a score of 95.80 on a cool, sunny morning at Phoenix Park.

France’s Marie Martinod took silver after crashing in her final run, guaranteeing Sharpe the top spot. American Brita Sigourney won bronze.

Sharpe was the last skier to compete in the three-run final after winning the qualifying session a day earlier.

She set the tone early in the final, getting a 94.40 in her first run down the halfpipe and following it up with a 95.80 in the second.

The best of three runs is a skier’s final score in ski halfpipe.

Calgary’s Rosalind Groenewoud finished 10th overall.

17-year-old arrested in connection with east-end carjacking

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Feb 20th, 2018

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A 17-year-old boy is facing numerous charges in connection with a carjacking in the city’s east-end.

The arrest stems from an incident that took place on Valentine’s day in the Woodbine and Danforth Avenues area.

Toronto police say a 29-year-old woman was returning to her car when she was allegedly accosted by a male who pushed her to the ground and began pulling her keys. A witness heard the woman screaming for help and tried to intervene, but the suspect reportedly threatened to shoot him. The suspect then drove away in the woman’s car.

The boy was arrested on Sunday and allegedly had an imitation firearm at the time of his arrest. He is facing a total of six charges including robbery, uttering threats and use of an imitation firearm.

The suspect cannot be named under the youth criminal justice act.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir win second Olympic ice dance gold

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Feb 20th, 2018

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada acknowledge the crowd following the ice dance figure skating free dance at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Tuesday, February 20, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Canadian figure skating stars Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have won their second Olympic ice dancing title.

In what was likely their final competitive performance, Virtue and Moir captured a gold medal at the Pyeongchang Games after scoring 122.40 points in Tuesday’s free skate for a world-best combined score of 206.07.

Fans at the Gangneung Ice Arena roared during Virtue and Moir’s steamy skate to music from “Moulin Rouge” and they were all smiles as they took what will likely be the final bows of their illustrious career.

France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron were second with a combined score of 205.28.

American siblings Alex and Maia Shibutani finished third with a combined score of 192.59.

Virtue and Moir also won gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. They settled for silver at the Sochi Games four years ago.

Virtue and Moir have said they will retire after Pyeongchang.

The duo also helped Canada to a gold medal in the team event last week.

Woman struck and killed in Mississauga hit-and-run

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Feb 16th, 2018

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Peel police are looking for a vehicle that was involved in a fatal hit-and-run in Mississauga.

Emergency crews were called to the intersection of Mavis Road and Knotty Pine Grove, near Derry Road, around 8:40 p.m. on Thursday.

Police said it appears that the victim, a 61-year-old woman, was not crossing the street at a crosswalk when she was struck.

The woman suffered critical injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say the driver failed to remain at the scene and was last seen southbound on Mavis Road.

Witnesses told police the vehicle involved was a small, white, compact car and will have damage to the front windshield.

Investigators are asking anyone who may have witnesses the collision, or has dashcam video of the incident, or any information on the driver or the pedestrian’s actions just before the crash, to come forward and contact the Major Collision Bureau at (905) 453-2121, ext. 3710.

Police are also appealing for the driver to come forward and turn themselves in.

Severe turbulence injures two aboard Air Canada flight to Costa Rica

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Feb 16th, 2018

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Two people were taken to hospital after an Air Canada Rouge flight encountered turbulence on the way to its destination in Costa Rica.

AC1806 was en route to San Jose when it encountered severe turbulence approximately 90 minutes into the flight, according to data from Flightradar24.com.

The plane then turned around just over Asheville, North Carolina and returned to Pearson airport, where it landed without incident.

Peel Paramedics say two flight attendants were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Air Canada says passengers have since departed to San Jose on another aircraft.

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