G20 thug jailed for seven months

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 9:44 a.m. February 4, 2014
Updated: 5:30 p.m. February 10, 2014

An American Black Bloc protestor who damaged private and public property, including a police cruiser, has been sentenced to seven months in prison.

police vehicle with broken windows and vandalized interior
Vandalized police cruiser during G20 protests in Toronto

Richard Morano, extradited from the United States on March 5, 2013 after being apprehended by United States marshals, appeared at Old City Hall court on Feb. 3 for his sentencing.

The accused was banned from the city during his two-year probation and he has been ordered to pay $1,000 restitution to S/Sgt. Graham McQueen and a further $500 to five downtown businesses that suffered extensive damage.

Morano was accused of using a rock to break a police car windshield while Queen was trapped in the vehicle, a large piece of lumber to smash the window of the American Apparel store at 338 Yonge St. and a chair to damage a large glass display window at Starbucks at 450 Yonge St., and a floor-to-ceiling window at the CIBC branch at 790 Bay St.

The 22-year-old, who disguised his identity while committing the criminal acts, also smashed a large glass window at Tim Hortons at 444 Yonge St. and, along with others, used a large metal construction fence to smash the All Weather Store front window at 399 Yonge St.

The criminal acts took place on June 26, 2010.

That day there was a total of 118 criminal activity occurrences and the estimated property damage cost was $2 million.

“The G20 riots left the shopping heart of Toronto with large numbers of looted shops and smashed shop fronts,” Justice Marvin Zuker noted in his ruling. "The financial cost to the businesses and the harm done is incalculable. Toronto must endure the stigma which the terrible events left in their wake as the world watched the mayhem of that night on its televisions screens. To anyone who lives or works in Toronto, the effect of what happened was heartbreaking…The common feature of the crimes that night is that all those involved took advantage of the mayhem and disorder to commit crime."

To anyone who lives or works in Toronto, the effect of what happened was heartbreaking… The common feature of the crimes that night is that all those involved took advantage of the mayhem and disorder to commit crime.

A bank branch window, broken during G20 protests in Toronto
Broken window of a CIBC branch office

“…Those who choose to take part in activities of this type must understand that they do so at their peril. It must be equally clear, both to those who are apprehended and to those who might be tempted to behave in this way in the future, that the court will have no hesitation in marking the seriousness of what has occurred and it will act in such a way in the present case as will I hope send out a clear and unambiguous message as the consequences of the individual. It is a message I trust will deter others from engaging in this type of behaviour in the future.”

D/Sgt. Gary Giroux, who headed the G20 Investigative team charged with the responsibility of identifying and prosecuting those who committed crimes, said he respects the court’s judgement.

His team reviewed over 60,000 images and videos of the day’s events in an effort to identify those responsible for the mayhem and destruction.

“My issue is that the American offenders came here with the very specific agenda to do damage and cause chaos,” Giroux said. "He has got seven months to think about what he did…With the Pan American Games coming to the city next year, I want the criminal elements within this particular culture to know that if you come to this city and conduct yourself in this particular way, you will be found, you will be apprehended and you will be incarcerated. That’s exactly what happened and so I am happy."

With the Pan American Games coming to the city next year, I want the criminal elements within this particular culture to know that if you come to this city and conduct yourself in this particular way, you will be found, you will be apprehended and you will be incarcerated.

A first-time offender, Morano accepted responsibility for the damage and submitted that he was a follower and not a leader. The 14 days he spent in custody after being released will be deducted from his sentence.

Thugs burned police cars and smashed store and bank windows. Many of the criminals – except five Americans who allegedly scampered across the border after causing mayhem – were arrested and charged.

Joel Bitar from New York, whom police allege was the masked man seen hitting financial district windows with a pick axe, and Kevin Chianella from Pennsylvania will be sentenced on Feb. 13 at 2201 Finch Ave. W.

“They pled guilty to more offences than Mr. Morano,” Giroux pointed out.

“They have more criminal counts.”

Tucson, Arizona resident Dane Rossman has already pled guilty, while a trial date has not been set for Quinn McCormic, an architect based in Boston.

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