A video has made its rounds on social media of a fight between a TTC fare inspector and a commuter on a streetcar. The TTC fight video was uploaded onto Twitter on Friday and depicts an altercation that occurred in the early hours of the morning. This incident comes just days after the transit company announced that more plain-clothed fare inspectors will be deployed to combat fare evasion.
The incident apparently occurred on the 501 streetcar at around 7:50 a.m., near Queen and Riverside, says the person who posted the video.
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In the 12-second clip, a man can be seen fighting a TTC Special Constable. As punches fly, another inspector sprays the man with an unknown substance.
The person filming was then asked to cut the video and step out of the streetcar.
In a series of tweets, the person with the camera explains how the situation went down in their own view.
"The officers approached him, asked for proof of payment, and he blew them off. They then insisted, stopped the streetcar, and as he got up they crowded in," they tweeted.
"He tried to move in the opposite direction when then turned into mutual shoving and then punches."
"Everything escalated in less than a second. Some sort of pepper spray foam was used, the man was subdued and then handcuffed." They also claim that no one was injured in the altercation.
#ttc mornings https://t.co/WBxWfbhV8Z— -J- (@-J-)1581080471.0
In an emailed statement to Narcity, the TTC explained that they are aware of the incident and are currently investigating.
"We are aware of the video and the incident that occurred this morning on the 501 streetcar route. The incident occurred during a routine fare inspection."
"The altercation involving two TTC Special Constables took place after they were approached by several customers onboard the vehicle who had concerns. We are investigating the incident."
Narcity also got in touch with the Toronto Police Service. "We are aware of an altercation on the 501 Streetcar this morning (Friday, 7 February, 2020), where a man was reportedly acting aggressive and violent," they said in an email.
"This was initially investigated by TTC Personnel who subsequently arrested a man. The man was transported to 51 Division and the investigation is ongoing by Toronto Police Service."
@CoalitionYes @CascadingDesign @TTCStuart Hi, we are aware of the incident and are working with Toronto Police regarding this matter. ^KG🦋— TTC Customer Service (@TTC Customer Service)1581099401.0
Just this week, it was reported that the TTC lost up to $73.5 million in 2019 because of fare evasion.
TTC CEO Rick Leary shared his concerns about fare evasion and loss of revenue. He says the agency is taking steps to fix the issue, reports Toronto.com.
Leary states that increasing the number of plain-clothed officers will prevent riders from knowing where they're located and sharing that information on social media.
“It’s going to be very hard to on a weekly basis not be bumping into constables and fare inspectors,” said Leary, via Toronto.com.
“You’re never going to know who’s on board that could potentially ask you for your fare."