By Kosalan Kathiramalanathan and Al Downham
A Ryerson student alleges he was assaulted on April 1 by 10 Dundas East security before being charged with trespassing.
Kat Northern Lights Man — a first-year urban and regional planning student — said he attempted to bring his bike into class in a Cineplex movie theatre around 11:40 a.m. after forgetting his bike lock.
A 10 Dundas East security guard approached him for trying to bring his bike up the escalators to class. According to Lisa Peatt, the building’s general manager, bikes cannot be brought into the building or taken up its escalators.
Northern Lights Man said he attempted to pass the guard, insisting he would not abandon his bike.
“He was given ample opportunity to change his action,” said Peatt.
Northern Lights Man said the guard at this point became physical.
“[He] kneeled on me and forcibly held me on the ground even though I was laying with no resistance,” Northern Lights Man wrote via email. “I began shouting loudly that I wasn’t resisting, and why was he hurting me?”
Rivers Wahl — a first-year criminology student — filmed part of the incident, showing Northern Lights Man handcuffed on his stomach.
She wrote via email, “He was thrown to the ground, pinned, violently handcuffed and dragged.”
“I was in shock and I was angry, Wahl said. “I was enraged and wanted a solution.”
Two security guards attempted to take Northern Lights Man to a separate room, which he refused.
During the incident, Northern Lights Man said he was dragged and knelt on, leaving him scraped and scratched with muscle soreness. He said one guard removed the ID card from his vest, something he says is “admission of wrongdoing.”
Peatt said she could not verify whether a guard hid their identification and declined to comment.
“For as something as minor as bringing a bike into the AMC, he was being treated like a criminal,” Guidzag Kassabian, a classmate of Northern Lights Man, wrote via email. He said security threatened those who sat alongside Northern Lights Man with trespassing and obstruction charges.
10 Dundas East called Toronto Police who escorted Northern Lights Man out of the building. Peatt — who said Northern Lights Man was “disrespectful” towards 10 Dundas East’s building policy — stated the student will be charged and banned from the premises. However, a reduction is being considered.
“It’s a shame you can’t even manage your building because everyone’s instantaneously telling you you’re being brutal,” Peatt said.
She said security reacted accordingly to the incident which was “not all that big of a situation.”
However, those that sat beside Northern Lights Man disagree.
“Ryerson, in my mind, needs to address the ban or else they are not only condoning this violence, but further punishing Kat by not allowing him to attend his classes unfairly,” said Wahl.
Ryerson’s Integrated Risk Management (IRM) security said they’re aware a student was arrested at 10 Dundas East but did not make the arrest. 10 Dundas East’s security is supplied through a third party contract with GardaWorld security.
Northern Lights Man was exempted from the ban for that day so he could make it to his class.
He said he’s trying to appeal the ban. “I’m going to explore options for reversing the ban and allowing students who need to enter with their bicycles to do so.”