Reporter denies Toronto mayor's trespass accusation
Published Wednesday, May 2, 2012 11:18PM EDT
Toronto police have confirmed they responded to a call about a possible trespasser at Mayor Rob Ford's property at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
Ford's press secretary George Christopoulos alleged that Toronto Star urban affairs reporter Daniel Dale was in Ford's backyard in Etobicoke videotaping the mayor.
Bob Hepburn, spokesperson for the Star, confirmed that Dale was in the area, but said he was on public land, and was reporting on a story about a piece of land next to the Ford family home.
Dale reported Wednesday that the Fords hope to purchase the land from the regional conservation authority.
Hepburn said the mayor ran at Dale, yelling at him, and that Dale dropped his Blackberry and his recorder as he rushed to his car.
An agitated Ford spoke to the media outside his home shortly before 10 p.m. on Wednesday. He accused Dale of standing on cinder blocks outside his home to take pictures.
"You know, it's over the top. You may not agree with my politics, don't start taking pictures of my family," Ford said. "My wife's home, my kids are home."
Ford said he did chase Dale, but he was just trying to protect his family.
"Enough is enough," Ford said. "I'm not going to put up with it. I've got the police here and if I have to press charges, I will."
For his part, Dale wrote a story of the encounter, which appeared on the Star website around 10:30 p.m.
Dale said Ford saw him taking pictures on public parkland outside his house and charged at him, yelling and shaking his fist.
"At some point, perhaps 10 or 15 seconds into the encounter, he (Mayor Ford) cocked his fist near his head and began charging at me at a full run," Dale wrote. "I began pleading with him, as loud as I could, with my hands up, for him to stop."
Dale said he dropped his phone and recorder on the grass during the altercation in order to get away from the mayor.
The mayor's brother, Counc. Doug Ford, was also present outside the home on Wednesday.
"This harassment from the Toronto Star has to stop," said Doug Ford.