Sunday, May 13, 2007
Always bring your camera with ya!!!
Students doing surveillance project capture dramatic footage
May 10, 2007 04:30 AM
A 21-year veteran of Toronto police has been charged with assault after a cyclist was attacked in downtown Toronto – an incident dramatically captured on videotape by a group of students working on a project about surveillance cameras.
The 45-year-old cyclist, Andrzej Sokol, was riding on Queen St. W. when he stopped at a yellow light on Bay St. just before 10 a.m. Tuesday.
A visibly upset driver in the car behind Sokol yelled profanities and honked his horn.
The driver then got out of the car and kicked the victim's bicycle.
When Sokol picked up his bike and moved toward the sidewalk, he was punched in the face at least three times. The driver returned to his car and drove away.
The altercation – and the driver's licence plate number – was captured on video by a group of Grade 12 students from Ursula Franklin Academy and was broadcast on CP24 and other television stations.
"That guy just used the horn...and he said, `move it, move it,'" Sokol told CP24 following the incident.
"Surveillance has been a hot-button issue in the media (and) one of the things we're looking at is the usefulness of cameras, so it's interesting they caught this on tape," Ursula Academy teacher Allison Mann, told CP24.
The video concludes with a shot of a tooth that had been dislodged from Sokol's mouth on the pavement.
Sokol was not otherwise seriously injured but he told CP24 he was rattled after learning the identity of the man charged.
"I didn't expect that, that was shock for me," he said yesterday.The students handed over the video to police to be used as evidence.
Const. Darius Tierman, who has been on leave since October 2004, turned himself in to police the following morning.
Tierman, 44, is charged with assault causing bodily harm.
He was granted bail yesterday at Old City Hall provincial court.
Among the conditions of release, Tierman must keep the peace and not come within 50 metres of any place where Sokol is known to be.
This month, a York Region police officer pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm.
A 40-year-old man was stopped by police in Vaughan and refused to provide a roadside breath sample in November of 2006.
He was arrested and put in the back of a cruiser where he was assaulted by an officer.
Const. Ryan Venables pleaded guilty to assault following an investigation.
He was placed on a suspended sentence with 18 months probation and 150 hours of community service and counselling.
Venables faces other charges, including discreditable conduct and neglect of duty.
He is to appear for a hearing on June 15 and will be without pay until resolution of the charges.
With files from Peter Small