Showing restraint under pressure, Toronto Police officers defused a confrontation without use of force when they were confronted by a woman who jumped on their scout cars, damaging the responding police vehicles.
On January 1, at 2:18 p.m. 31 Division responded to a call for a woman acting erratically on the road in the vicinity of Finch Ave. W. and Milady Rd.
“When I arrived on the scene, I observed the female in the middle of the street and she was irate and screaming at surrounding vehicles,” said Constable Christofer Lemieux. “As I stopped the scout car, she immediately turned her focus on the police vehicle.”
While Lemieux called for back-up, the woman jumped onto the hood of the scout car and stomped on the windshield and roof.
When the second scout car arrived, the woman also jumped on that vehicle and smashed the rear and front windshield.
Exercising patience as she closed in on the officers, Lemieux and Constable David Donaldson gained physical control of the woman and placed her under arrest.
Escorted by police, she was taken by ambulance to Etobicoke General Hospital.
Superintendent Tony Riviere, 31 Division unit commander, was extremely pleased with the outcome.
“Our officers were very calm and used their professional training to deal with a tense situation,” he said
Toronto officers responded to over 23,400 calls for emotionally disturbed persons and apprehended over 9,000 people under the Mental Health Act during the course of the year as of late November 2016.
Chief Mark Saunders said Toronto officers handled the calls admirably.
“Their response to mental health, I think that is one of the most underestimated things that we do,” Saunders said. “The men and women have done a fantastic job. And those are the stories that are unfortunately not heard by the public but I can tell you they are recognized by the Command, they’re recognized by me, they’re recognized by unit commanders. So, the fact that we are able to de-escalate at such a high level is a true statement of our professionalism.”