By Diana Mehta, The Canadian Press
Toronto: The trial of a Toronto police officer charged in the 2013 shooting death of a teen on an empty streetcar is hearing from a janitor who encountered the youth at a subway station before the incident.
Anthony Sampogna says Sammy Yatim came up to him on the lowest level of the Dundas subway station shortly before the 18-year-old boarded a streetcar where he was eventually fatally shot by Const. James Forcillo.
Sampogna says Yatim asked twice for the nearest exits and then asked for a phone.
When Sampogna told him he didn’t have one, Yatim asked him to call police and then followed the janitor to an upper level, where Sampogna told a fare collector about the teen’s request. Yatim then suddenly left the station.
The jury has heard that Yatim boarded a streetcar outside the station and eventually pulled out a small knife, causing panicked passengers to rush off the vehicle which came to an abrupt stop.
The jury has also seen surveillance videos which show Forcillo arriving at the scene and, after a 50-second confrontation, Forcillo fires nine bullets.
Forcillo has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and attempted murder in Yatim’s death.
Crown prosecutors have said they plan to prove that Forcillo’s actions during the incident weren’t necessary or reasonable. Forcillo’s lawyer has said his client’s actions were justified and carried out in self-defence.
The jury has also heard that Yatim consumed the drug ecstasy before he boarded the streetcar.