Barefoot man steals snow plow, kills cop
January 12th, 2011
01:55 PM ET

Barefoot man steals snow plow, kills cop

A man took a stolen snow plow on two-hour rampage through the streets of Toronto, Canada, Wednesday morning, killing a police officer and wrecking cars and a car dealership.

Police said the suspect stole the privately owned plow in downtown Toronto about 5:30 a.m., according to a report from CTV news.

Police Sgt. Ryan Russell, 35, was struck by the plow and pinned against his cruiser when he tried to stop the truck about a half-hour later, according to news reports. He died in a hospital emergency room.

The suspect hit numerous vehicles as he continued through the city’s streets for another half-hour or more, and rammed the plow into a Ferrari dealership, according to news reports.

Just after 7 a.m. the plow came to a stop after hitting a garbage truck, according to news reports. Officers approached the plow and opened fire, gravely wounding the suspect. He was in critical condition at a hospital, CTV reported.

According to a report in the Toronto Star, the plow company employees were working outside their vehicle when the suspect – a “guy with no shoes” – jumped in and sped off.

“He was barefoot and just came running and jumped in,” plow company President Peter Tolias told the Star. Officials have not released the suspect’s identity and have not speculated on a motive.

The fallen officer was an 11-year veteran of the Toronto force.

"This is the worst of days for the Toronto Police Service," Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair was quoted as saying.

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Filed under: Canada
soundoff (343 Responses)
  1. thick nik

    God bless the family of the officer! @ 2100, I'm tuning in to see the rest of the movie! =)

    January 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Giver

    Unless your superman, standing in front of a vehicle with your hand out telling someone to stop isn't going to work.

    January 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Toronto

      What makes you, or any other posters, think the officer was 'standing in front of a vehicle with [his] hand out"?

      It was snowing fairly hard here last night, which is probably why the plow was out. Once stolen, it was driven erratically on slippery streets: it's possible it fishtailed into the officer and his car.

      A little sensitivity and civility, please.

      January 12, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      The officer did not stand in front of the snow plow. The guy in the snowplow took off, turned around, and drove directly at the officer. The officer slipped and was pinned between the snowplow and his cruiser before being run over and killed

      January 12, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack

      It's a good way to get your jollys off shooting someone, and at the same time use the excuse "he was trying to run me down with a deadly weapon." But sometimes it doesn't work out quite like you had expected. Live by the gun, die by the gun.

      January 12, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • SSampsn

      The officer was supposedly not involved with the truck when it hit him (not that this matters) – as it was snowing there was no reason to pay any attention to it...

      Show plows are also used to throw down sand/salt – so even when it is NOT snowing, it is not uncommon to see them on the streets of Toronto....

      Regardless.... In Toronto it is not normal for cops to be run over by car theives....It IS Canada you know – The crime rate moves up and down a bit, but for the past couple of decades the averages overall have declined significantly (according to the actual numbers – not the rhetoric)

      I am sure if the officer knew he was being attacked he would have tried to get out ofthe way – the vehicle was moving slowly...

      January 12, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack

      The cop thought he could kill someone in cold blood. Too bad he didn't take into account the slip factor.

      January 12, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. 2100

    Stayed tuned for scene 2 , theres more to come "And now a message for our sponers" to be cont.

    January 12, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • arkagene

      What's a sponer?

      January 12, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. farquar

    Those cops need more time on the firing range, the guy should not have survived.

    January 12, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canadian Girl

      Exactly! I'm totally disgusted. You'd think after what happened in Tucson the other day that people would stop with the vitriol. Apparently not!

      January 12, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mean Marine

      I agree one shot one kill.

      January 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stacie

      Okay, let's have you do a one-shot kill when a plow is coming straight at you.

      Criticizing a police force when one of their own was killed just hours ago is downright insensitive. Show some respect.

      January 12, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. iconemi

    Obviously BROWNSTREAKER... you've never seen one of Toronto's or a Canadian snowplow truck...i don't know where you're from but we're used to seeing snow and therefore are extremely well equipped with these monter trucks.... The snowplows will swallow your car in seconds by the size of them not to mention the height.. so even shooting bullets at random you're chances of hitting the driver are slim... we in Canada try other methods before shooting people.... it was unlucky that this officer never had a chance because his car was pinned while he was getting out....

    January 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mike

    Its amazing how the story starts "In Toronto,Canada" Like I think everyone knows where Toronto is

    RIP to the Police officer and his family

    January 12, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • jazzmandb

      There are cities named Toronto in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, and South Dakota also.

      January 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny J

      Obviously, the important one is in Indiana. DUHH

      January 12, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. What

    I cant believe what i have just read on this blog post. Cause everytime I hear about an american cop that gets killed in the line of duty i come on a blog post and make fun and stupid jokes of what happen. gezzzus freakin christ almighty

    January 12, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • American

      ignore the Trolls. They only spout such nonsense to get attention.
      They do this on every article no matter the content.

      January 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • adam recht

      i hear ya dude, its realy ignorant how people act. as an american i apolagize for the immature rednecks and ghetto trash that dont have any respect. lots of people here think its funny to bash canada but those reres obviously havnt been there. canada is beautiful and i frequently snowboard at whistler and black comb. lol america has nothin as far as skiing and boarding that can touch whistler. again sorry and my condolences to the fallen officer.

      January 12, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canada

      They're INTERNET TROLLS. If you think some random morons on here represent every single American alive and dead, then you're just as ignorant and bad as you think they are...

      January 12, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark, Toronto

      As a Canadian, I was saddened to here of the officers' death, but I would be no less saddened to hear of an American' officers death, quite frankly I just dont get the animosity. An officer is dead, he had family, a little compassion would go along way. We may not always like them let alone trust them – but they have a tough job to do too.

      January 12, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. iconemi

    @ Toronto .... I live in Montreal so i know exatcly what you mean... People think that snow plow trucks we have are the size of a car....

    January 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • E

      True but in this case it was a pickup with a plow on front and a salter on the back. It wasn't one of our massive snowplows but still, a big truck with a big plow.

      January 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Toronto

      @E: Actually, it wasn't a pickup truck, but what I'd call a 2-ton truck.

      January 13, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. Canadian Girl

    Wow, thanks for being such great neighbours to the south! As your comments have shown, mocking the death of a young officer with a young family is apparently the thing to do in the U.S. Heaven forbid a U.S. officer should lose his/her life in the same manner. I can tell you that if that did happen, it would be Canadians who would be the first to offer sympathy! Look in the mirror, Americans aren't making any friends these days. Try being nice!

    January 12, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryon Appleton, WI

      Not all of us are idiots, however there seem to be more than I thought.

      January 12, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • American

      Don't pay attention to the trolls. They do not represent Americans, and only spout out such insensitive nonsense because they are insecure 13 year olds in need of attention. They shout this crap out about local stories as well.
      Peace to the officer's family, glad the other officers wounded the suspect "gravely" Should have shot him dead.

      January 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canada - Our little sister

      At least you commented on it and allowed the few ugly Americans that do post to have even more attention!
      I see blog posts from Canadians just as stupid as any here, so slow your roll and ignore them. Since your so much more pious then the rest of us!!!

      January 12, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Ignore them! sadly We Americans are misrepresented by a general population of idiots. We re not all bad. My appreciation and condolences go out to the officer and his family. American or Canadian our Police protect us and are heros.

      January 12, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark, Toronto

      @Canadian Girl, I would agree with some, feeding the trolls doesn't help – and I really do not believe at all that their garbage reflects most Americans – anymore than some of the ignorant comments we get from our own Canadians either. If we have to cringe every time some ignorant tool spouts off about the U.S – then one has to imagine that most Americans roll their eyes every time one of their own do the same. because we're all pretty much feeling the same sense of "Oh shut up already" –Toronto

      January 12, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canadian Girl

      Mark Toronto, you are totally right. I agree.

      January 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • scott

      agree with you im from michigan and yeah there are so many cruel people here.... the like to bash police and firefighters like no other when ever something happens to one or the other and it disscussed me to see how people act.

      January 12, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bryon Appleton, WI

    How is this funny? A police officer died doing his job. Would it be funny if this happened here in America? Was it funny when an idiot gunned down people in Arizona? Show some respecet people.

    January 12, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canadian Girl

      Well said!

      January 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark, Toronto

      Well said and nothing funny about it. Canadians should not be so smug, we might not have as many, but we've had some monsters of our own too.

      January 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shane Irvine

      There is a time and place for humor – this is neither the time nor the place. This is in fact a time for us to all reflect on what a tough job police have, how this young man put his life on the line doing his duty and how this incident will forever affect his family. As with all fallen heros, we should all take a minute to pray in silence.

      January 12, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. saddened

    All I have to say is poor Ferraris...

    January 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dale

    Per the other "high capacity magazine" story, Canada better ban snowplows now since that is what caused this death.

    January 12, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • adrienne gigl

      Right – cause only one person got killed in the same time a high capacity gun could kill 30 people? Deranged nutcase killed, but didn't kill as much as deranged nutcase with a high capacity gun.

      January 12, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. EZ

    Flyboy – I realize it was a Canadian cop – I am Canadian. My comment about hating Americans was at all the idiotic and harsh comments people were making regarding this tragedy.

    January 12, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam99999

      Just as with the extreme right and left loudmouths on TV, don't let these few idiots here represent us all. We're really not that bad. And just wondering – how do you know the idiotic comments are coming from Americans??

      January 12, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. proudCanadian

    Our thoughts and prayers go to the officer’s family. I am a Canadian reading in disgust the comments of some of the American population. An officer died in the line of duty – have some respect. Doesn't happen often here, neither does shooting every perp on the street or gun violence in general. This suspect is apprehended, and we'll leave it to the court system to decide his fate – that is how a civilized country deals with such an issue.

    January 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Xasthur

    Any video of this?

    January 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Xasthur

      Because without it, how do we know that the cop didn't just shoot the dude causing him to lose control of the plow?

      January 12, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • E

      We know it because the guy already smashed through the Ferrarri dealership up the road. I believe the officer had the road blocked with his cruiser.

      January 12, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jdj

      Xasthur – you're an absolute potz.
      The officers who shot him did so after chasing him halfway through the city in the early morning trying to get him to stop. It was not the officer who the perpetrator pinned and killed against a car in his driving rampage. So your theory that the shooting caused him to lose control of the vehicle and cause the officers death is simply not true. Keep your american stupidity to yourself.

      January 12, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
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