Man seen on video pointing knife in Toronto library and being tasered by police charged
Toronto police say a 31-year-old who was seen in dramatic video pointing a knife at officers, and subsequently being tasered, is facing multiple charges.
Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook told Global News officers were called to the Toronto Reference Library on Yonge Street, north of Bloor Street East, just before 2:15 p.m. on Monday after receiving a report of an altercation between the suspect and a library patron. She said the accused reportedly pulled a knife and threatened the patron, prompting a call to police.
Douglas-Cook said a paid-duty officer working outside of the library responded quickly after hearing the call.
“There was a man waving a knife around. Several times he attempted to charge at the officer,” she said, adding the officer tried to keep her distance from the suspect until other officers arrived.
“He followed her around for several minutes swinging the knife aggressively, threatening to cut her and asking her to shoot him.”
In a video posted on YouTube by user Amir S, an officer could be seen walking in front of the accused and telling a patron to “get out.” The suspect, who appeared to gently flick a shiny object, could be heard saying, “I’m not going to chase you like that. I’m telling you to point it at me.”
“I don’t want to. That’s not what I’m here for,” an officer could be heard responding.
“Why? Why don’t you want to?” the suspect told the officer.
“Because I don’t want to hurt you,” the officer said.
The man appeared to hold out a knife and point it toward a group of three police officers before grabbing a wooden chair briefly. One of the officers, who Douglas-Cook later identified as a sergeant, was holding a Taser. One of the officers could be heard telling the man to “drop the knife.”
“Shoot, then,” the accused said while raising his hands in the air.
The sergeant could be seen shooting the Taser toward the suspect, causing the man to grab his stomach and stagger backwards before regaining his balance. The man tried to walk away, again clutching at his stomach, before the officer deployed the Taser again. The man could be seen on the video falling head first into the ground.
As the suspect stayed motionless on the floor, police ordered an angry bystander to get back and demanded the suspect put his arms out.
WATCH: Toronto police call for more Tasers (Oct. 19, 2017)
“Get off him. He’s f—ing down. What’s wrong with you,” a man could be heard yelling as officers stand over the accused before moving his arms in what appeared to be an attempt to restrain him.
The officers could then be seen rolling the suspect onto his side. It appeared there were two small pools of blood on the carpeted floor near where the suspect’s head was.
Douglas-Cook said the man was arrested and treated in hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
She said the man, who hasn’t been identified, was charged with assault with a weapon and uttering threats. Douglas-Cook said he appeared in a Toronto court on Tuesday, but it’s unclear if he was remanded into custody or released.
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.