Police say a British Columbia man who jumped into a shark-filled tank at Ripley’s Aquarium on Friday is also believed to be a suspect in their investigation of a serious assault that occurred near another Toronto tourist destination.
Toronto police Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook said investigators looked at the suspects in the two cases, which happened on the same evening, and saw similarities.
“At this point, we believe that it is the same man,” she said.
Police said that about 8 p.m. on Friday, a 34-year-old man was attacked near Dufferin Street and Saskatchewan Road, near Medieval Times, by a patron who earlier had been asked to leave the premises.
The victim suffered serious injuries and was taken to hospital. Douglas-Cook said the suspect is wanted on a charge of assault causing bodily harm.
WATCH: Police believe shark tank swimmer also allegedly assaulted man
Later that night, at about 10:30 p.m., police received a call about an indecent exposure at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.
“It was reported that a man took off his clothing and jumped into the shark tank on the main level of the aquarium,” police spokesperson Katrina Arrogante said earlier on Monday.
Video posted to social media over the weekend shows the man swimming around in the tank with several sharks below him.
“Oh my gosh,” a woman can be heard saying.
Security guards asked the man to get out of the tank, Arrogante said. But as he appeared to be attempting to leave, he jumped in a second time. A video shows him doing a backflip into the water as spectators cheered and applauded.
“Eventually the man did exit the tank and put on his clothing and he did leave the premise,” she said.
Peter Doyle, general manager of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, said the man was not held by security personnel after he left the tank, as the aquarium does not detain guests as a matter of protocol.
“We called the police and he took off in just his pants and shoes and left the building,” he said.
No one was harmed in the incident, including any of the sharks, police said.
Doyle said the welfare of the aquarium’s animals is “paramount.”
“This was an unusual incident and we’re going to press charges for sure,” he said.
Doyle said it’s the first time something like this has occurred in the five years since the aquarium opened.
In an update released Monday evening, police said they are looking for 37-year-old Nelson, B.C., resident David Weaver in connection with both incidents.
Officers said Weaver is wanted for assault causing bodily harm and mischief interfering with property.
Police described the suspect as being five-foot-10, weighing approximately 220 pounds, and having a shaved head and goatee. Officers said he is missing a front tooth.
Investigators said Weaver is believed to be driving a green Dodge Caravan with the British Columbia licence plate PL120G.
— With files from Nick Westoll, Shallima Maharaj and Don Mitchell
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