Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Three youths arrested amid disturbances at Toronto CNE’s Youth Day
Three youths have been arrested after trouble broke out at the Canadian National Exhibition Tuesday night.
The CNE closed down nearly three hours earlier than scheduled on Youth Day due to safety concerns.
A 16-year-old girl, and a boy, also 16, have been charged with assaulting a police officer, while another male, 17, has been charged with drug possession, according to Sgt. Steve French.
Police were initially called after 9 p.m. for reports of gunshots, which they later confirmed were false.
The skirmishes were mainly pushing and shoving, staff Sgt. Andrew Stinson said.
“The CNE is experiencing one of the busiest nights of the Fair as a result of the popularity of Youth Day,” said the CNE in a statement.
“CNE organizers are winding down operations early as a proactive measure to curtail overcrowding and ensure the safety of our guests.”
David Hart, who was visiting the Ex with his friends, said he saw a group of about 60 youths running through the park earlier in the night.
“They all just started running in one direction, scared the crap out of everybody, nobody knew what was going on, and then 20 minutes later, the same thing in another direction,” Hart said.
“Just scared the hell out of everybody.”
Hart was in line for a ride, he said, when a “frantic” employee told him that the grounds might be shut down in the next 10 minutes.
Around 9:30 p.m., all the lights and rides were shut off.
Ryan Daly said he arrived at the Ex with his fiancée and two children around 8 p.m. He said there were groups of teenagers “running around all over the place, having little fights all over the place,” adding he kept hearing about small scuffles from family members who were in different parts of the CNE.
Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins said Tuesday night that officers were on scene assisting with crowd control as the people tried to depart at once.
“There are more people than can be accommodated on each train,” she said, adding that riders were being very patient.
The CNE will be resuming regular hours Wednesday, said French.
According to French, the 17-year-old male will appear in court Wednesday morning. The other two have been released.
This isn’t the first time the CNE closed early due to the popularity of Youth Day. Last year, operations were shut down an hour early.
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