Man accused of swimming naked in shark tank expected to plead guilty to mischief
TORONTO – A British Columbia man accused of swimming naked in a shark tank at a Toronto aquarium is expected to plead guilty to mischief in that incident next month.
David Weaver, of Nelson, B.C., was arrested and charged in October of last year, four days after the alleged incident.
Police allege he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in downtown Toronto on Oct. 12, bought a ticket, then stripped naked and jumped into the facility’s shark tank.
A large crowd was at the aquarium that night for a “jazz night” event and some in attendance took videos of the alleged incident.
The videos, which surfaced on social media and attracted international attention, show a naked man swimming in the tank with sand tiger sharks, sawfish and moray eels.
The man then starts to climb out of the tank before performing a back dive into the water. Officials have said the man then got out and got dressed but left behind a T-shirt and his jacket.
The aquarium, meanwhile, has said security footage shows a man accompanied by a woman walking directly to the “dangerous lagoon” tank and, about half an hour later, taking his clothes off, hopping a barrier and going into the water.
Police have said by the time they arrived at the aquarium, the man had fled. Weaver was arrested near Thunder Bay, Ont., during a vehicle stop.
During a brief hearing Wednesday, court heard that Weaver would appear on Sept. 19 for a guilty plea in the Ripley’s incident.
Police have also alleged that earlier on Oct. 12, Weaver assaulted a man outside Medieval Times, a show where actors playing knights joust and compete in a mock tournament. A window was also allegedly broken.
Weaver was charged with assault and mischief in that earlier incident, which is now being dealt with separately by the court, and will face trial on those charges in late October.
He returned to B.C. this spring after his bail conditions were relaxed, allowing him to resume his work as a fishing guide, his lawyer has said.
Before then, Weaver had been required by the court to live with his mother in Burlington, Ont., and seek counselling for alcohol abuse and anger management.
© 2019 The Canadian Press