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TTC fare inspector suspended after altercation with teen

Last Updated Feb 23, 2018 at 6:09 pm EDT

A video still shows TTC fare inspectors and police pinning a rider to the ground after an altercation on a streetcar near St. Clair and Bathurst in Toronto on Feb. 18, 2018. HANDOUT/Facebook/Bethany McBride

The TTC has suspended one of its fare inspectors who was involved in an altercation with a teen passenger on Sunday.

In a letter to Toronto Ombudsman Susan Opler, Acting CEO Richard Leary confirmed the inspector had been suspended with pay pending the outcome of an investigation.

The TTC has also asked Toronto police to determine whether criminal charges are warranted.

According to witness Bethany McBride, a boy who looked around 15 years old was getting off the streetcar at St. Clair Avenue West and Bathurst Street, when a fare inspector grabbed him by the back of his coat and dragged him back into the vehicle.

She said the teen shoved the inspector, prompting an altercation, and then the two fare inspectors dragged the kid off the streetcar and pinned him to the ground.

Police were called to assist, around 4:30 p.m., and when they arrived they found a large crowd had gathered around the inspectors and the boy, who is Black.

She said he didn’t seem to be fighting back or trying to escape and there was blood and dirt on his face.

After handcuffing and questioning the boy, police found he hadn’t committed any criminal offence and immediately released him.

Leary said the TTC’s investigation will determine whether the fare inspector violated the Transit Enforcement Unit Code of Conduct by failing to treat customers equally without discrimination, assaulting a customer and using unauthorized force on a customer among other allegations.

Leary said the transit agency will try to complete the investigation as soon as possible, rather than the typical 90 days.

The final report will be delivered to Leary, Opler and the TTC Board.