Toronto police take down knife-wielding library patron with tasers
Video footage is making the rounds today of a dramatic altercation between police and a 31-year-old man inside the Toronto Reference Library.
The man in question is said to have been threatening patrons and flashing around a knife inside the busy library on Yonge Street near Bloor, prompting a call to police around 2:15 p.m. on Monday.
A nearby officer arrived to the scene not long after the call came in, according to Toronto Police Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook.
Police say the suspect attempted to charge at the officer and "followed her around for several minutes swinging the knife aggressively, threatening to cut her and asking her to shoot him."
A video published to YouTube by a user named Josh Giha starts with the man screaming "point it at me then!" to the on-duty cop.
The man aggressively follows the officer around a group of tables as patrons are ushered away from the scene, asking her to shoot him. "I don't want to," says the officer. "That's not what I'm here to do... I don't want to hurt you."
Dozens of bystanders appeared to be filming the incident by the time more officers arrived.
One of the closest shots shows patrons evacuating the library as an alarm sounds. The person filming ends up right behind the responding officer as the suspect grabs a chair and two other cops arrive.
One of the arriving officers immediately aims what looks like a gun (but turns out to be a taser) at the suspect, at which point the suspect puts up his hands and screams "Shoot then!"
Police do end up tasering the man, who stumbles backward but remains upright. A second jolt sends him straight to the floor, face first, where he lands with a thud.
An overhead shot from a YouTuber called Amir S shows officers circling the man and demanding that he put his arms out.
An irate bystander can be heard shouting such things as "Get off him!" and "What's wrong with you?" in the background to police.
Some blood can be seen on the floor where the man's head was in this third video after officers roll him over.
At one point while searching the suspect, an officer yells something about "marijuana." He mentions the drug twice while the suspect is detained.
Douglas-Cook said on Tuesday that the suspect was taken to hospital following the incident and treated for "non-life-threatening injuries."
The unidentified man was also charged with assault with a weapon and uttering threats, though it is not yet clear if he has been released or remains in custody.
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