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Bystanders wrangled into violent brawl that broke out on TTC subway

TTC ridership may still be down from its usual levels as a result of the pandemic and work-from-home trends, but that doesn't mean commuters haven't witnessed their fair share of the kooky incidents often typical of a day out in public in Toronto.

This week, for instance, one particularly violent fight broke out between two riders, carrying on for quite a period of time and spilling from inside a subway train out onto the platform and back again.

It was around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday that those minding their own business and just trying to get somewhere were faced with a dramatic altercation between two individuals riding northbound on the Line 1 Yonge-University line towards Vaughan Metropolitan Centre.

According to one rider, in the absence of TTC staff, multiple other people got involved in an attempt to restrain the instigator and stop the messy brawl as the train stopped at St. George Station and then Spadina, where things moved off the vehicle and back on once again.

"At some point the fight moved out onto the platform with the main instigator off the train and at that point, ideally the train should have left and issue de escalated. But they just sat there," the witness tells blogTO.

"The fight moved back on the train and the instigator assaulted two other passengers with his hard hat."

He adds that though commuters did press the emergency alarm button and the driver did make an announcement about the issue, he did not see any TTC employees come to help, something he said in two tweets about the incident was shocking and appalling.

"At no point did we see ttc personnel at platform level or on the train. We were at Spadina station for at least 10 mins," he says.

But, the TTC says they did in fact deploy special personnel to tackle the situation.

A spokesperson for the TTC confirmed that the emergency alarm was  activated by a passenger amid the chaos and transit control was then notified of a fight on board, which at the time was thought to potentially involve a knife.

Service was stopped, authorities were called, and Transit Special Constables were deployed. The latter officers were said to have arrived on scene within five minutes of the call by the driver. The main suspect was apprehended by the constables and turned over to police.

"Thankfully, incidents this serious in nature are rare on the TTC. Safety of customers and employees is paramount to all we do. So when incidents like this occur, we have numerous ways and means to respond and handle them," the spokesperson said.

"We always encourage customers to use the emergency alarm when safety is at risk and, as this incident demonstrated, we are able to have officers on scene very quickly."

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