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. Mama Jensen

    Terrible news...may he rest in peace. I am as sad for Sgt. Ryan Russell as I was for all of our officers that were killed in Seattle. I'm not sure why it matters where he was from, this is tragic anywhere.Does it matter that I'm in Washington State? Nope, not at all. To my brothers and sisters in Canada, I am sorry to hear of the loss of Toronto's finest.

    January 12, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hendeeze

    your a moron if you think your blinky lights is gonna stop a giant snow plow.

    January 12, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sal from Fl

    I love the Canadians. They are the most friendly people that I know especially the English Canadians. Here in Florida I was very close to the many Canadian snowbird and I found them to be the nicest people. I am embarrassed by some of the comments by my so called American citizens in this post. My Canadian friends, we are not all dumb and stupid here in the States. Disregard the idiots! And also Toronto is one of the most cleanest cities.

    January 12, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gokiburi

    Time to Bann snow plows with in 1000 feet of police !!!

    January 12, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sal from Fl

    I love the Canadians. They are the most friendly people that I know especially the English Canadians. Here in Florida I was very close to the many Canadian snowbird and I found them to be the nicest people. I am embarrassed by some of the comments by my so called American citizens in this post. My Canadian friends, we are not all dumb and stupid here in the States. Disregard the idiots! And also Toronto is one of the most cleanest cities.

    January 12, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. FAST TIMES At CNN News

    Scene2 cont/ (go gos music playing then fades)We Got the Beat-WeGot the Beat We Got the Beat – YA! We got the beat-we got the beat. Shutting the door 21 heads down the hall Reaching the door way-he peers in to the room. There theyare-bloggers chating away about the plow. Checking the time he quikly continues down the hall un-noticed by the chaters. Reaching the end of the hall at the left is the room that has their computer files. Thinking to himself : he must get those cnn files on the disclosure commentary quick -IN n OUT- he thought to himself. "I hope i dont run into any Idiots from last nights Blog page". As he turned the knob the door opened, once in he locked the door and breathed a sigh of relief...... Now to the files....... 2 be cont.

    January 12, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Horvath

    Absurd! I cannot the conservative and right wing nuts! The language they have spewed has caused this violence!

    I think we should ban all snow plows along with guns! No snow plow rights!

    January 12, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CanadianGirl

    I am appauled and saddened by some of the comments that are on this page. Some of you should be ashamed of yourselves, though I doubt that you are bright enough to realize this. I fail to see the humour in the death of a young man doing his job. As for the people that are suggesting that the Toronto police should spend a little more time on the firing range, do you think that it is right to kill a man that is obviously not mentally all there? I am not speaking about everyone in the USA, because I know that some of you realize that gun control is a MAJOR problem (I could list many, many examples of this) but perhaps the officer who fired his weapon was thinking to incapacitate this troubled man rather than "one shot, one kill".

    January 12, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. wally zebco

    Technically speaking, the plow killed the police oficer, they should have shot it.
    No one has ever mistaken policemen with intelligence.
    If he did this with the plow down we could use him in NYC.

    January 12, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. E

    I had to think about this for a bit. Many people have said that the officers who shot the suspect should have killed him. They did hit him 3 times, once in the chest, once in the neck and one more elsewhere. However, a police officers job is not to kill people. The officers in this case had a job to STOP the individual. Even though I can just imagine what may have been going through their heads at the time (the officer was still alive at the time) they acted in a very professional manor. They did their job and stopped him from causing further damage/deaths. My hats off to the officers for showing restraint. My hats off to all officers. R.I.P Sgt. Russell.

    January 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Make Love not WAR

    @ E the guy went on a rampage with a snow plow : I dont think this was an average traffic stop or a slight altercation for that matter : the snow plow was being used as a deadly weapon at that point and deadly force should have been used /here in america if that happened the cops would shoot to KILL to stop the threat to public safety

    January 12, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. American Officer

    As a a police officer in the U.S. myself, hearing any police officer losing their life is a tragedy. As in most cases, everyone hates the police until they are needed, then we become your best friends. R.I.P. Sgt. Russell, your service and the lives you have saved throughout your 11 year career have made the communities you served a better place for everyone.

    January 12, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Citizen

      I'm a feverish supporter of law enforcement, so not everyone hates the police. And there is no doubt that Sgt. Russell saved many lives directly and indirectly. God speed.

      January 12, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • sandra22

      even though you are right about alot of people hating cops, not all do. My prayers gos out to the officers family.

      January 12, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mrdelight

    Jug Up!

    January 12, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Paul C. Friesen

    A crooked police force in hirings of inferior qualified applicants rather than far superior and experienced ones like me, the Metro Toronto Police is a dirty organization with a gestapo style hiring/promotion and union. How many cops kill people each year through excesssive tasering or trigger fingered nutcases in uniform such as the Diezskanski and Ian Bush killing only to get off because of a cohesive effort to protect their own at all costs. There is a law for cops and another one for us, an ex-lawman I saw horrific incidents of racism, assaults and boozing with the Sheriffs in BC Canada, long ago, and policing is no better as we have over 1,500 cops with criminal records, demotions, firings, transfers, etc. in this nation. We are far too easy on cops but when one of their own get killed we all "forget the evil" they do. No excuses for this officer to be killed just as much as cops killing people because of overly aggressive people wrongly given guns and badges who are unworthy of the job. In the end, justice balances out when a cop gets "turfed" because, by far, they too kill too many people needlessly by overreacting and then expect civilians to pay for their lawsuits while they get off the hook. What comes around, goes around!

    January 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mrdelight

      Well said Paul!

      January 12, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Michael Twiss

    Hey, somebody was just killed. There is a thing called bad-karma. Its subconcious and will ruin your life. Try it.

    January 12, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
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