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Courts sentence two men to jail in separate crimes
against TTC employees

A 22-year-old man will spend seven years in prison for a string of robberies, including three against TTC collectors. In a separate case, a 56 year-old man was sentenced to 88 days for assaulting a TTC collector.

On Good Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 25, 2015, masked suspects robbed three different collectors at gun point. In all three robberies, the suspects demanded and received cash and TTC fare media before escaping.

Toronto Police Service officers investigated these robberies. Through the investigation, which they dubbed Project Castle, and with the aid of video images, police identified and arrested Stefon Edwards and five other suspects who are still before the courts.

Edwards, 22, pleaded guilty to seven counts of robbery, seven counts of wearing a disguise and seven counts of using an imitation firearm in the commission of an indictable offence. Three of each of these charges related to the TTC incidents.

In a separate case, James Lavoie, 56, was sentenced to 88 days in jail for assaulting a TTC collector Monday, November 21, 2016, after he twice tried to enter Don Mills Station without paying a fare. When asked to pay his fare, Lavoie became irate, swore at the collector and threatened him by pointing a piece of lumber as if holding a rifle. Lavoie then proceeded to the subway where he caused a disturbance that resulted in a 32-minute delay to service.

Lavoie, who was originally charged with multiple offences, pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon and was sentenced to 88 days — time served, as he was held in custody until his sentencing hearing.

On average, at least one TTC employee is assaulted or the victim of another crime every day. The assaults range from punching, slapping and spitting, to threatening physical harm or death. The TTC’s court advocates work with Crown attorneys and the courts to secure the stiffest penalties possible for those convicted of assaulting or threatening TTC employees. They continue to seek ways to restrict those convicted of these crimes from using public transit in Toronto.

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