Video shared with CP24 appears to show a group of teens or young adults turning on and operating construction equipment at a public school in the Annex early Wednesday morning.
The video, captured by a local resident at around 1 a.m., shows four people in the school yard of Huron Street Junior Public School, near St George Street and Lowther Avenue.
“I had my patio door open, and I’m hearing construction equipment and I’m like, what’s going on? And I look and I see these guys there and I’m like, alright, you know, they got in, there’s not even a gate to block them,” said Ian K., who captured the video from his home in the area.
“And then I heard them turning [the equipment] on and they were there for 40 minutes. There’s three Bobcats, they turned on all the Bobcats and one of them tried to turn on the steamroller and they inevitably almost started playing chicken with the Bobcats.”
Ian says the school’s yard has been under construction all summer, and the compact loaders used at the site are left there unsupervised overnight.
He says from what he could see, the four individuals looked like males either in their last year of high school or first year of university.
Police confirmed that they’re investigating the incident and that they first received a call for a hazard from the school at around 1:15 a.m. on Wednesday. But they say the investigation is still in its early stages and provided no further comment.
It’s unclear whether any property or equipment was damaged during the incident, but Ian says that whoever was operating the equipment seemed to be doing so recklessly.
“They definitely smacked the ground quite a few times, just even in their ineptitude of knowing how to operate these things and just banging into things,” he said.
“But it’s hard to tell [if any damage was caused] just because it is a construction site, but there is footage of them smacking the [loader’s bucket] against the ground and smacking it into the grass.”
Ian says it took police more than half an hour to get to the scene after he called them, and by the time officers arrived, the group of suspects was able to flee the scene.
He says he explained to the responding officers what he had seen and provided the footage he’d taken.
“The most shocking part about it that the cops were equally surprised to note is there were no keys required for these machines. They literally just pressed a button and they turned on,” Ian said.
That detail hasn’t been confirmed by CP24, but it remains unclear exactly how the group was able to start the loaders if they did require keys.
“They even had the audacity to videotape [themselves],” Ian added. “They were obviously [putting the whole thing] on social media.”