Video shows Toronto police chasing man, believed to be involved in robbery, on TTC tracks
A video has surfaced online of Toronto police chasing down a man who was on the TTC subway tracks at Woodbine station Tuesday afternoon.
Officers responded at around 2 p.m. on May 21, 2019 for a fight call at the subway station, near Woodbine and Danforth Avenue.
Const. David Hopkinson told Global News that it was believed to be a fight between two men, with one of them being dragged into the station.
When police arrived on scene, Hopkinson said one of the men, believed to be the suspect in the video, was already at track level.
The video posted shows the suspect casually walking on the tracks, while a police officer is seen following from the platform level, trying to speak to him.
As the officer jumps down to track level, the suspect begins to run towards the subway tunnel.
Upon further investigation, police said that the suspect might have been involved in a previous robbery incident prior to being on the tracks.
“We went and looked at [surveillance] video shortly after this [incident],” Hopkinson said. “We believe him to be responsible for robbery that took place in that area — it probably explains why he ran from police.”
Investigators said the suspect eventually left the tracks and ran off. The suspect is still outstanding, and police are still investigating the incident. The man is believed to be in his mid-20s.
During the incident, transit commuters were delayed up to half an hour, with portions of Line 2 shut down between Victoria Park and Broadview stations.
TTC spokesperson Hayley Waldman told Global News that her initial reaction to the incident was how dangerous it was.
“We really don’t think anyone should go to track level for any reason and it is certainly a life-threatening risk,” she said. “You can be fined up to $5,000, not to mention the fact that it’s [an] incredibly huge inconvenience for your fellow customers.”
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Waldman said the TTC has to cut power and deploy shuttle buses in such situations, delaying a large portion of service.
“We feel very strongly about not going down to track level for any reason at all. This was certainly a very dangerous thing that this individual did.”
Hopkinson also said that by going on track level, the suspect not only put his own life at risk but that of the pursuing officer, due to the active third rails on subway tracks.
Waldman said the TTC strongly discourages anyone from attempting to jump to track level, which they’ve been advertising in campaigns since the beginning of the year.
“It’s not worth your life, it never is — and we really want to send that message home,” Waldman said.
— With files from Erica Vella