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Man in handcuffs escapes Toronto Police to go on roof-hopping spree

Toronto is once again drawing comparisons to Florida — the entire state, in general — following a wild day that involved knives being thrown at firefighters, random park attacks, and someone escaping police custody to jump across residential rooftops (among other things.)

The first high-profile act of chaos was reported around 9:21 a.m. on Tuesday when police announced some "unknown trouble" at Concord Ave. and Dewson St. (near College and Ossington.)

"Man is fleeing from police, jumping from roof to roof — police are trying to talk to him, refusing to come down," read an update from the TPS Operations Twitter account posted just after 10 a.m.

Police later clarified that the man had been arrested and handcuffed, but escaped while being placed in a cruiser. Roads were closed off in the area for hours while emergency responders tried to apprehend the suspect.

Eventually, just before 3 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, police announced that the man was in custody and that they were working with firefighters, a doctor and a crisis intervention team "to get him safely off the roof."

Toronto Police confirmed by email to blogTO that the male was eventually assisted off the roof with the help of Toronto Fire Service.

Meanwhile, over at Queen and Dufferin, a small fire is said to have broken out at a homeless tent encampment just before 1 p.m.

Firefighters arrived quickly to the scene, where they were met with a violent welcome.

"Knives are being thrown at firefighters," reported Toronto Police at 1:08 p.m., describing the suspect as white, male, 50 and wearing a blue parka.

Fortunately, nobody was injured, but the suspect did escape on foot.

Later, around 5:30 p.m., a couple were walking near Yonge and Alexander Streets when they were "attacked by another man," also armed with a knife.

"Attack appears random," said police at the time. "Suspect may be in Alexander Parkette."

While random attacks like these aren't exactly rare in Toronto, roof-jumping police escapees and encampment knife-chuckers aren't something you hear about every day.

As one person in a local community Facebook group put it: "Best to not leave the house today."

Little did they know that starting this Thursday, the provincial government would agree with and enforce this same philosophy.

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