March 23, 2015

A man has been sent to jail for six months for threatening a TTC operator as well as robbing a woman of money in a separate incident.

On December 10, 2014, a TTC bus operator was involved in a fare dispute with a man who  threatened the operator with death, and then fled from the bus. Toronto Police attended the scene and arrested the suspect a short distance away. Police also charged the suspect with the robbing of the woman two days earlier.

Wayne McLaren, 48, pleaded guilty to the two charges and was sentenced to six months in jail and two years’ probation.

On average, one TTC employee is assaulted every day, ranging from punching, slapping and spitting, to threats of physical harm or death. The TTC’s Court Advocates work with Crown Attorneys and the Courts to ensure the stiffest penalties possible for those convicted of assault or threats on TTC employees, and continue to seek limits on the use of public transit in Toronto for those convicted of these crimes.

The Federal Government recently passed an amendment to the Criminal Code that will allow judges to impose tougher penalties during sentencing of those convicted of assaulting or threatening transit operators.  Bill S-221, introduced by Senator Bob Runciman, received Royal Assent on Feb. 25. The law requires judges to consider assault on a transit operator an aggravating factor when passing sentence, and includes operators of buses, streetcars and subways.

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