Posted August 1, 2019
Tenant advocate Peter D’Gama says Toronto police are throwing the book at him for allegedly tossing legal papers at a property manager and a process server who interrupted a community meeting about building repairs.
D’Gama, leader of Etobicoke ACORN, was charged by 23 Division officers on July 25 with assault with a weapon — the weapon being the legal documents, he said — and resisting arrest. D’Gama, 57, said he was handcuffed, kept overnight in a 23 Division cell until he attended a bail hearing the next day and was released.
D’Gama said he was served with a defamation lawsuit from a property manager during a tenants’ meeting in a room at a Kipling Ave. apartment building. The meeting was addressing tenant complaints in a neighbouring building. Lawsuit in hand, D’Gama said he followed the process server and the property manager out of the room and into the lobby where he gave the legal document a “light toss” in their general direction.
“I didn’t assault anybody,” said D’Gama, adding the papers fell to the floor.
Officers were called to the building after an individual reported that he had been assaulted, confirmed Const. Rob Reid, corporate communications for Toronto Police Services.
A summary of the arrest lists the alleged weapon as “papers,” Reid said, and does not specify the volume of documents or what area of the body the alleged victim was struck.
The alleged suspect, said Reid, refused to co-operate with police officers who then had to take physical control during the arrest. He was not injured, said Reid.
On Thursday, ACORN will hold a 6 p.m. news conference outside 23 Division “to demand TPS drop the charges” against D’Gama and “issue a formal apology” to him, according to an ACORN news release. D’Gama’s next court appearance is Aug. 30.
Article by Mary Ormsby for the Toronto Star