A van drives erratically through a busy Toronto park leaving locals in shock
More than a hundred people in Kensington Market Park on Tuesday night were shocked when they saw a Toronto pickup truck driving through the park and scraping the entire side of the barrier.
Later, the truck drove through the park on the grass before stopping, apparently unable to get over a small hill.
A video of the incident appeared on the popular Shitshow channel on Instagram and Facebook.
Park users are wondering why police allowed an erratic and possibly intoxicated city worker, who crashed into a barrier, damaged his car and drove across the park’s grassy area, to drive away without being breathalyzed or examined by paramedics.
Just before dusk, the park was filled with many people enjoying last summer’s weather, children were playing on the playground, and on the south side some tents had been set up for people living there in what had not yet become a camp.
The video was taken midway through the accident, and shows the truck stopping quickly on a small hill on the south side of the park.
In the video, a man named Anthony speaks into the camera: “Guy runs across the park and hits a pole. Scares the place. I mean…fuck you, you’re going to do the right thing, it’s quite the truck town…drug town out here.” He then zoomed in on the city logo on the truck and shouted, “What the hell is this?” He stole a city car? Wow, this is worse than I thought. Jesus..”
At this point, Anthony and several others believed the driver had stolen the city vehicle and was on a joyride, based on onlooker observations of his walking and driving.
But when the police began questioning the man, they confirmed that he was indeed a city worker. They talked to him for perhaps 15 minutes, examining the broken barrier and speaking to onlookers.
In a second Instagram video, Anthony and another man named Turbo (who witnessed the entire event) appear on camera with the truck in the background, still parked on the hill.
“Here we have a city worker who was driving through the entire park, grinding the side of his car,” Anthony says in the video.
“Po-Po will let him go,” Turbo says in the background.
Anthony continues: “And for some reason it’s okay… Look how he parked here… He drove his car on the grass. What’s his jurisdiction here? It’s not from the streets to the houses or anything like that. This is quite strange. There are clear signs of trauma.” “Which caught the car on the side. He got in there, drove the car through the park.”
“He scraped the pole there…and ended up driving through the camp…” Turbo adds.
“And then all the cops will show up here and be like what’s going on?” Anthony thinks.
No one saw the police breathing down the man, and no paramedics arrived at the scene.
After the second video, police allowed the driver to get back into the truck and begin driving away. People in the park were yelling, “Are you going to let him drive away?”
My view on the incident
Before these videos came out, I was sitting in the park with friends when I saw the truck marked “City of Toronto” pull up onto the sidewalk and start down the pedestrian path. The plate was illegible.
We were all shocked when this truck started scraping the barrier in the middle of the road, damaging the car as it vigorously rubbed the entire length of the truck.
There was plenty of space on the road to drive without scraping the barrier. Then he drove his car to the children’s mattress and the bathroom entrance.
The driver, an older white man perhaps in his 70s, got out of the truck and began walking around. To me, and dozens of other onlookers, he looked like he was extremely intoxicated, although it’s possible he was extremely confused or suffering from some sort of medical problem.
I walked past him. To me, he looked like he could barely walk, and his eyes looked glassy. I was tired of talking to him but he wasn’t speaking coherently. Some onlookers made a call to 911 to report a possible drunk driver.
The driver left the car (unlocked) and entered the bathroom with a plunger. Later, he got back into the car and started trying to get out of the park.
The driver started to back into the truck very slowly, but then stopped. He tried to pull back again but then stopped. Finally he turned on his hazard lights.
After several minutes of hesitation, the driver decided to forgo reversing and began driving straight across the park’s grass toward Wells Street.
This took him over some grass where people often picnic or spread grass, and between two tents in the camp.
Once he reached the hill near the curb (a bit steep but easily manageable by car), the driver parked the car and remained on the hill, apparently unable to decide what to do, and remained there for several minutes while spectators spoke on the phone. . With emergency services.
Eventually, the police arrived. At the same time Anthony from the Shitshow Instagram channel arrived at the park and after talking to a few people he started filming Instagram videos.
Eventually, the police allowed him to get into his car and drive off, which upset dozens of onlookers, including me.
When the driver was allowed to drive again, he seemed to have difficulty deciding how to get down the little hill, but eventually he drove down Wells Street and down Augusta, and then sat at the crossroads for a long time trying to figure out which way to take. Augusta (one-way street heading north).
The police were in their car directly behind the damaged city car, escorting her. The driver eventually began driving north on Augusta Street, very slowly and hesitantly, with the police car following behind him.
Dozens of people were shaking their heads and shouting things like, “Why is he driving the car? He shouldn’t be driving the car!”
When a brief description of the incident and an Instagram video were sent to the city for comment. “The City of Toronto can confirm – following an investigation in partnership with the Toronto Police Service – that a City employee was performing assigned work duties at Bellevue,” Russell Baker, director of media relations and case management for the City of Toronto, responded via email. Square Park and did not conduct any of the alleged activities.”
Which makes me wonder…what are the alleged activities he did not undertake? Didn’t he hit the pole with the vehicle? Did the toilet not flush? Didn’t he drive through the park?
The damage to the vehicle is visible in the video, and I have a photo on my phone of the scratch mark on the fender, with the white paint from the city truck still on it.
It is clear in the video that the city truck is parked on the hill in the grass, which is an illogical route to drive through a camp instead of staying on the cement track as city vehicles normally do.
Of course, no one can tell from pure observation whether a worker is intoxicated or not. But when dozens of people conclude that a man is either drunk or having a medical emergency, and a city car has been damaged, shouldn’t that person take a breathalyzer test?
Shouldn’t he at least be examined by paramedics to determine if he should be driving or if he needs medical attention?
When an accident happens in front of more than a hundred people, with dozens of close witnesses, and someone – whether a city worker or not – drives erratically around children playing in a park, and damages city property, the city says it doesn’t. It happens… How can we trust the city to tell us the truth?
One is reminded of last year’s Matlow Bathrooms debacle, a controversy over whether the city was telling the truth about opening the park’s bathrooms that ended with City Councilman Matlow being fined for criticizing a city employee.
Park users have questions. They don’t deserve to be gaslighted. We are not in the 1950s, and if there is evidence of drink driving, it should be taken seriously. We have the technology.
Regardless of the reason, if someone is driving erratically, they should not drive themselves home, for their own protection as well.
All of us (people enjoying the park, people living in tents, kids playing on the playground) deserve to be safe. For me, the worst thing is to be told that nothing happened, when dozens of people only saw it with our own eyes.
(tags for translation) toronto