Hours into their first shift as part of the Toronto Police Service’s increased presence in the city’s transit system in response to a recent spike in violent crimes, Constables Dave Audette and Phillipe LaBarre made an arrest.
Soon after boarding the Sheppard Ave. E bus at Pharmacy Ave. on February 1, LaBarre recognized a man attempting to get on to the bus at Warden Ave even though he has bail conditions prohibiting him from doing so.
The man is already facing charges related to more than 20 incidents of assault on TTC property over the last seven months and is known to 42 Division officers. He was also wanted for failing to comply with bail conditions.
“As he tried to get on the bus, he saw me, turned around and ran across the street to Warden Ave. to get on a bus going northbound,” said LaBarre. “I followed him and he decided to change course and go to a close by parking lot in a plaza where I confronted him. When I called him by his first name and asked if he was he was the person I thought he was, he said ‘yes’. I told him there was a warrant for his arrest.”
Audette was in a scout car trailing LaBarre, who is normally assigned to Traffic Services East.
The officers were briefed before starting their patrol and informed that the man was wanted on warrants and was continuing the ride the TTC in violation of court conditions on his release.
Inspector Mike Williams said the arrest proves the TTC call back initiative is working to keep citizens who use the system safe.
“It appears that the accused loiters on the TTC,” said Williams. “However, he is incredibly hostile and has been involved in a significant number of physical assaults, making it very difficult for the general public in the area to go about their normal day without being accosted. It’s alleged this behaviour has been escalating in frequency and violence recently.”