A dramatic video of a citizen’s arrest shows a man desperately trying to disarm a suspect wielding a loaded handgun in Toronto’s west end.
In footage posted to YouTube two men are seen grabbing the suspect early Tuesday morning on the sidewalk before they spill onto Bloor Street near Lansdowne Avenue as a pair of police officers arrive.
As the citizen ends up wrestling alone with the suspect, an officer with his hand on his holster stays on the edge of the melee, apparently looking for a chance to intervene.
While that officer faces the fight, the second officer appears to turn her back on the armed man and runs several steps to the far side of a nearby cruiser, leaving the video’s view.
A scream is heard as the citizen forces the suspect to the ground, with the first officer throwing himself onto them and grabbing the gun. The second officer then runs back into the frame, kicking the gun away from the scuffle.
“Gun, gun, gun,” a frantic voice says as the first officer seizes the firearm. “You got the gun? We got it, we got it.”
The person who shot the video told Global News the recording began about 10 seconds after he noticed the incident. The footage runs 1:40 and was posted Friday.
A police spokesman declined comment on the second officer’s conduct.
The head of the police union defended the officer’s actions.
“The officers are acting appropriately based on what they’re observing, what they’re dealing with on the scene,” Mike McCormack of the Toronto Police Association said.
“For somebody to judge our officers based on a snippet of video is completely wrong and inappropriate.”
The force said Wednesday the incident began when a man armed with a loaded gun approached two people in a vehicle around 2 a.m.
A 29-year-old Toronto man was arrested and is facing 15 charges, including robbery, threatening death and numerous firearms offences.
Liban Douale is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.
Police are recommending a civilian citation for the man who wrestled with the suspect.
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