By Ramisha Farooq
Four years after the violent hit and run death of Ryerson graduate Christopher Skinner, Toronto Police have arrested the driver of the black Ford SUV that allegedly ran him over.
Detective Sergeant Stacy Gallant announced the arrest of 23-yearold Etobicoke resident Agustin Caruso, who has been charged with second-degree murder, at the Nov. 7 press conference.
Caruso, who was 19 at the time of the indcident, was accompanied by five others in the SUV.
According to Gallant, two more arrests are expected to be made. The SUV has been seized and remains in police custody. Police said they were able to find Caruso through tips from the public and an extensive investigation.
After watching surveillance tapes, police believe Skinner’s hand accidentally touched the accused’s SUV as he was trying to hail a cab on the corner of Victoria and Adelaide Streets. Police believe this may have provoked the attack that killed Skinner.
After Skinner supposedly touched the SUV, the vehicle’s occupants exited and knocked him to the ground, then punched and kicked him. They got back into the SUV and deliberately ran him over, then sped away east down Adelaide Street.
Skinner, who had been out celebrating his sister’s birthday with family and friends in the Entertainment District, was pronounced dead at 3 a.m. on Oct. 18, 2009.
Skinner’s parents, Warren and Ellen Skinner, attended the conference and said the arrest was “bittersweet.”
“Christopher was a bigger-than-life personality,” said Ellen Skinner. “He was a star that was extinguished.”
“You can’t just dust your hands off and say, ‘That’s done,’ because it’s not done,” she said.
Skinner’s family has been running a social media campaign to try to find those responsible in his killing. The family, along with police, had offered a $150,000 reward to anyone who came forward with further information.
The reward has not been claimed, but the family said they intend on donating the money to charity.
“I’m disappointed to say… none of the individuals that did not participate in any way in the death of Chris Skinner chose to come forward on their own,” said Gallant. “They instead kept this information to themselves and lived with it for the past four years.”
“This investigation is not concluded. It is still ongoing, and I can assure you, there will be further arrests in the near future,” he said.