May 29, 2012

The Toronto Transit Commission today announced its first-ever monetary reward -- $25,000 -- for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect in the shooting of a TTC station collector last February.

At about 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 26, the suspect, wearing a mask and brandishing a handgun, approached the collector booth at Dupont Station. In what appears to have been a failed attempt to rob the collector, the suspect began to leave, but for reasons unknown, turned back toward the booth and fired three shots into the glass, striking the TTC employee twice. The suspect then fled through the station’s northwest exit at the corner of Dupont St. and Spadina Rd. CCTV cameras in the station captured images of the attack.

The employee was rushed to St. Michael’s Hospital with life-threatening injuries. He continues to recover from his injuries and remains off work.

“This was a brazen and cowardly act. Suffice it to say, we want this individual caught,” said TTC CEO Andy Byford. “TTC employees and customers must feel safe and secure at all times while working or travelling on the TTC. The Toronto Police Service has worked very hard on this case and the TTC has the utmost confidence in their ability to catch the perpetrator. This reward may be the necessary incentive someone needs to help police make an arrest.”

TTC Chair Karen Stintz and the Commission were briefed by staff and were unanimous in their support of a reward to help capture the assailant.

Pending implementation of a fully automated fare system in the coming years, the TTC has taken several immediate steps to increase safety and security for its station collectors, some of which will remain confidential for security reasons. The TTC, however, is actively looking at several ways to reduce the amount of cash in the system, including the introduction of debit card capabilities at all subway stations. This measure, of course, is an enhanced customer convenience, but also makes station collectors less of a target for would-be thieves, as the amount of cash on-hand will be minimized further. All collector booths have safes, which the station collector cannot open, that are used to deposit funds and minimize the amount of cash on-hand in the booth.

NOTE: Effective June 4, the TTC is changing the way it distributes news releases and media advisories. Please see release issued on May 28 for details - http://www.ttc.ca/News/2012/May/0528_new_format.jsp.

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