Video appears to show TTC constables in fight with customer over fare evasion

Click to play video: 'Violent streetcar incident involving TTC staff under investigation' Violent streetcar incident involving TTC staff under investigation
WATCH ABOVE: A video circulating online of an altercation between TTC staff and a rider is attracting a lot of attention. Police say the man was acting in a violent way when he was approached in a routine fare inspection. Caryn Lieberman reports – Feb 7, 2020

A video making the rounds on social media appears to show two Toronto transit special constables get into a fight with a customer who allegedly did not pay for his ride on Friday.

Twitter user @CascadingDesign posted the 12-second long video and said the altercation took place around 7:30 a.m. on the 501 Queen Street streetcar.

The video starts in what appears to be the middle of the altercation. One TTC special constable appears to throw multiple punches at the customer, who is sitting in a chair and attempting to headlock him. Another constable then pepper sprays the passenger in the face while yelling, “Get down.”

READ MORE: Mayor John Tory ‘muses’ about publishing photos of fare evaders

The video ends with a third constable coming in and blocking the person filming the incident. Everyone then exits the streetcar.

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The Twitter user described the situation in multiple tweets, saying “the officers approached him [the passenger], asked for proof of payment, and he blew them off.
“They then insisted, stopped the streetcar, and as he got up they crowded in. He tried to move in the opposite direction, when then [it] turned into mutual shoving and then punches.”

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The user continued and said everything escalated in “less than a second.”

“Some sort of pepper spray foam was used, the man was subdued and then handcuffed,” the user continued.

The TTC issued a statement saying they were aware of the incident and said it took place during a “routine fare inspection.”

“The altercation involving two TTC Special Constables took place after they were approached by several customers on board the vehicle who had concerns,” the statement read.

Toronto police said the altercation took place in the area of Queen Street West near Broadview Avenue and River Street.

They said the man was arrested and is currently being processed in custody.

READ MORE: TTC loses more than $70M in revenue because of fare evasion: study

The video comes a day after a study was released by the TTC’s audit, risk and compliance (ARC) department that said the TTC lost more than $70 million in 2019 because of fare evasion.

The ARC worked with the Transit Enforcement Unit for six weeks in November 2019 and found the overall average fare evasion rate across the TTC is estimated to be 5.7 per cent or $73.5 million.

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The report also comes after the TTC voted to move ahead with a 10 cent fare increase, which would in part pay for additional transit enforcement officers.

The study will be heading to TTC’s audit risk management committee Feb. 11 before heading to the TTC board at the end of the month.


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