Toronto will be keeping a closer eye on Cherry Beach after chainsaw incident
A bizarre incident in which two bloodied men terrorized people with running chainsaws at Toronto's Cherry Beach has prompted a statement from the city's mayor — one that includes a promise to better monitor large gatherings in the area.
During a news conference at Toronto City Hall on Monday afternoon, Mayor John Tory said the city will be further cracking down on parties taking place at Cherry Beach in light of the incident.
"There is a protest that seems to happen weekly at Queen's Park and it seems, according to the information that has been given to me, a number of the very same people then end up at Cherry Beach having some sort of a gathering," said Tory when asked about the chainsaw attack.
"We will redouble our efforts to monitor those."
The gatherings in question appear to be those hosted by anti-masker groups following protests at Queen's Park on Saturday afternoons.
Every weekend the same group of people who are Anti-COVID19 protocols have been gathering at Queens Park then to Cherry Beach to party.— Sandra Cole (@Sandra_Cole44) August 10, 2020
By the admission of protest organizers, hundreds of people have been showing up for their all-night gatherings at Cherry Beach in recent weeks.
Outspoken anti-mask group leader Chris Sky spoke of the events during a recent Instagram Live broadcast, admitting that he and his supporters go to Cherry Beach at night following their Queen's Park protests every weekend to set up a DJ booth and party.
"Cherry Beach. Secret path from the soccer field at 275 Unwin Ave.," wrote Sky in response to someone on Instagram who asked for details about the most recent party. "Take Uber because cops block off the parking lot. But they don't mess with the party :)"
Toronto, tomorrow is another gathering of those who are not living in fear.— Robbinbirdz (@AshLightQ) August 8, 2020
No masks, no distancing, just hugs, truth, love and navigating this storm together.
Queens Park Noon to 4pm #17
South tip of park
Cherry Beach protest after party #6
far east side beach 9pm
While the chainsaw incident took place on Sunday morning, some on Twitter and Facebook are saying that it was people still partying from the night before who started the fray.
They allege that someone from a beach party attacked the chainsaw guys first (hence why they're already bloody in the video) and the men came back with their tools to retaliate.
Toronto Police confirmed they were called to the Cherry Beach area on Sunday after a "large group of people were in a physical altercation."
"It is alleged that two men involved in the original altercation suffered injuries. They then left and returned with weapons," said police on Monday.
Witness-shot video footage shows the two chainsaw-wielding men being arrested and told they'd be receiving medical attention on Sunday morning. Their names have not been released by police.
Fun times.— Robbinbirdz (@AshLightQ) August 11, 2020
All night dance party at the beach ended in a chainsaw massacre showdown. Some people are nuts!!
We made it, the gear did not. 🤣Toronto life.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger right? pic.twitter.com/qtuaXKtZvI
Whatever happened leading up to the fight, the chainsaw incident terrified dozens of innocent people who were simply out for exercise on the trails north of Cherry Beach Sunday morning.
While the city says it will be keeping an eye on parties in the area moving forward, Tory acknowledged on Monday that there's a fine line between protective and oppressive.
"We want to, on the one hand, make sure that people are kept safe and that these kinds of scary incidents don't happen, but on the other hand that people are allowed to live their lives and to enjoy themselves without an oppressive enforcement presence," said the mayor.
"Clearly an incident like this would cause us to want to keep a very careful eye on both these gatherings themselves, because gatherings beyond certain numbers and at certain times and so on are regulated at this moment in time, and also ones that scare or otherwise disturb people, we want to keep an eye on as well."
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