Mischief charges laid following crane rescue near Toronto’s waterfront
Police have laid mischief charges after a woman was found inside a crane near Toronto’s waterfront district Thursday morning.
Officials say she was located at a condominium construction site around 6:30 a.m. in the area of Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard.
“We don’t know how she got in there,” Toronto Fire District Chief William Bygrave said. “There was security during the evening, but no night shift working. The building was empty other than security.”
Authorities said she was situated in the crane operator compartment about 45 metres above street level.
“Sometime during the night she must have gotten over a fence. She climbed up about nine storeys. She went another four storeys above that. A total of 13 or 14 storeys, maybe 140 feet up,” Bygrave said.
“She stayed in the cab area. She was seen doing some damage to the cab area and crews went up and talked to her. She wasn’t too compliant.”
The police emergency task force was captured on video speaking to the woman. Officers managed to pull her from the compartment just after 8 a.m. and brought her down shortly after.
“She climbed up this ladder on the inside of the crane, you can access and get up,” Bygrave said.
“We shut power off to the crane. Locked it out and crews went up, ETF, as well as fire crews trained in high rescue, went up, talked to her and brought her down.”
Global News video showed the woman screaming as she was placed into custody.
“She would have fallen about 50 feet down to the ninth floor. It’s precarious up there and she didn’t have any safety gear on. No harness. No hard hat,” Bygrave said.
The woman was placed into an ambulance after she was brought down. She was later transferred to a police cruiser.
On Thursday afternoon, police said Lindsey Flockhart, 34, is facing two mischief charges — obstructing property over $5,000 and causing property damage over $5,000. She was also charged with violating a probation order.
Police said the crane was damaged in the incident and is no longer operable.
Flockhart is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 17.
Officials said it’s not uncommon to find people on cranes in the city.
“It does happen. It happened yesterday at Spadina and Fort York. People get into these sites and climb up the crane for some reason,” Bygrave said.
Fire official said crane climbing is a dangerous activity that not only puts climbers at risk, but the public as well.
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The Gardiner Expressway near the construction site had to be partially shut down as a precaution during the rescue operation.
“It’s pretty dangerous and you’re putting a lot of people at risk as well. The Gardiner Expressway was shut down to two lanes in case she went out on the boom,” Bygrave said.
With a file from Kerri Breen
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