The Premier’s spokesperson says a man wielding a butcher’s knife was arrested outside Doug Ford’s home on Monday night.
Ivana Yelich, the Premier’s executive director of media relations, tells lintelligencer that the man arrived at Ford’s Etobicoke home and began shouting and making threats.
“Last night, a man with a large butcher’s knife showed up at the Premier’s home while yelling threats,” said Yelich. “An OPP officer was on-site and arrested the man immediately.”
She says that the Premier “thanks the officer for his quick action and bravery,” adding that no one was hurt during the incident.
Toronto police confirm they responded to a radio call just before 6:00 p.m. Monday after the man allegedly approached Ford’s residence with a knife.
Police say the man slashed the tires of multiple vehicles prior to making his way to the Premier’s house, where he began yelling threats.
They identified the man as 44-year-old George Niras of Toronto. He’s charged with possession of a weapon with a dangerous purpose and 11 counts of mischief to property under $5,000.
Multiple opposition leaders reacted to the incident, including NDP leader Andrea Horwath who responded shortly after knowledge of the man’s arrest became public.
“This is such horrifying news. My thoughts are with Doug and his family. My thanks to the OPP officer for the quick response,” Horwath wrote on Twitter.
“Everyone deserves to feel and to be safe.”
Liberal leader Steven Del Duca called the threats “abhorrent.”
“Threatening the Premier is abhorrent, and jeopardizes the lives of everyone holding public office. We may have disagreements, but it can never come to this,” Del Duca tweeted.
“My thoughts and well wishes are with the Premier after this frightening incident.”
“This is very concerning news,” tweeted Green Party leader Mike Schreiner. “I am thankful that no one was hurt and I hope the Premier and his family are safe and doing okay.”
Ford’s street has attracted the attention of protesters in months past.
Last year, speaking at a press conference in late November, Ford pleaded to leave his neighbours alone after a crowd became reckless during a protest.
Ford said he doesn’t mind when people meet to rally outside Queen’s Park but finds it disrespectful and rash when it happens near his home, saying at the time that his neighbours “didn’t sign up for this.”
“These people, they need to stop. You want to protest me? Come down to Queen’s Park. You can do cartwheels, you can jump and down.”
Ontario is currently in Step 1 of its reopening plan with Step 2 tentatively slated to begin on July 2.