Two men have been sentenced to jail in separate incidents for assaulting TTC employees.
Moses Sanderson, 61, was sentenced to 120 days in jail for assaulting two TTC student ambassadors this summer.
On August 19, the two employees were working as Customer Service Ambassadors at Bloor-Yonge Station. Sanderson approached one female student from behind and slapped her on the buttocks and lunged toward her in a threatening manner. He also spit at her and another employee.
TTC Special Constables arrested Sanderson at St George Station shortly after the incident. He was found to have a criminal record and three previous convictions of assaulting streetcar operators in late 2015 and early 2016, and was on probation in relation to those previous assaults.
Sanderson pleaded guilty to two charges of assault and failing to comply with probation and was sentenced to four months in jail. Sanderson was also placed on probation for one year, during which time he must stay away from the victims and not to be found on TTC property.
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Mathew Lidster, 27, was sentenced to 121 days for assaulting a TTC Bus Operator.
On July 6, Lidster rose from his seat at the back of a bus on St. Clair Ave. W., approached the driver’s area and, without warning, punched the operator in the head.
The Toronto Police Service attended and arrested Lidster, charging him with assault. Lidster pleaded guilty to assault and other unrelated charges and was sentenced to four months in jail. Lidster was also placed on probation for two years and ordered to stay 200 metres away from the employee.
On average, one to two TTC employees are assaulted every day, ranging from punching and slapping to spitting, and more are threatened with physical harm or death. The TTC's Court Advocates work with Crown Attorneys and the Courts to ensure the stiffest penalties possible for those convicted of assault or threats on TTC employees, and continue to seek limits on the use of public transit in Toronto for those convicted of these crimes.
In 2015, the Criminal Code of Canada was amended so that when a court imposes a sentence for assault, it considers as an aggravating circumstance the fact that the victim was a public transit operator engaged in the performance of his or her duty.