The TTC says it is investigating after an online video surfaced that appears to show transit enforcement officers involved in a violent confrontation at Union Station.
The video, which was posted on YouTube, begins with an altercation between two men and transit officers but it is not clear how the incident started.
WARNING: The video may be disturbing to some viewers. Discretion is advised.
The man who recorded the video tells CityNews that he heard from bystanders that the men had skipped paying their fares. Jorge Pinzon started rolling after the incident began and you can see the father resisting arrest and the son starting to punch the TTC officer. The man being punched can be heard on video saying, “I paid my fare, I didn’t do anything.”
The TTC officer then launches another barrage of punches as witnesses at the packed station yell, “stop hitting him.”
The TTC’s Brad Ross confirmed that the incident took place last month but said he wouldn’t be commenting until Wednesday.
The altercation involving TTC officers is extremely serious. The video is being reviewed now. We will have more to say in the morning.
— Brad Ross (@bradTTC) April 1, 2015
TTC spokesperson Jessica Martin told CityNews the two men being detained by the transit officers were both arrested by police.
She didn’t give an exact date and couldn’t say if the employees involved are on suspension pending the TTC’s internal investigation.
She also wouldn’t say if the video played a role in the TTC’s directive to avoid confrontation with fare cheats.
The Toronto Sun reported Tuesday that the TTC sent out a memo telling employees not to engage with those that refuse payment.
The Sun quoted the memo as saying, “collection of fares is very important, as fares make up 70% of our operating revenue. However, it is not more important than your safety or providing a safe, reliable and courteous service to our customers.”
Mayor John Tory was asked about the memo at a news conference Tuesday and said he supported the directive.
“I think if people had a choice (between) seeing their drivers involved in (confrontations) about people not paying their fares or getting on with driving its bus to its destination and calling fares inspectors to deal with these matters, I think they would pick — get on with driving the bus…”