Police identify man wanted for manslaughter charge in death of former CBC journalist
The death of a longtime CBC journalist who was shoved to the ground in Toronto has now been classified as a homicide and police have issued an arrest warrant for a suspect in the case.
Police announced on Friday that 43-year-old Robert Robin Cropearedwolf is wanted for manslaughter after the death of 73-year-old Michael Finlay.
Finlay was walking along Danforth Avenue near Jones Avenue on Jan. 24 when he was randomly assaulted, police said. He was taken to hospital with serious injuries but died one week later.
A cause of death has not been released but at a press conference on Friday Det. Jason Hillier confirmed police are now treating the case as a homicide following an autopsy that was conducted on Wednesday.
Hillier said that police do not believe Cropearedwolf and Finlay were known to each other.
“It does appear to be a happen chance meeting,” Hillier said. “Mr. Cropearedwolf if you are watching this I encourage you to speak to a lawyer and turn yourself into the nearest police station. I also encourage anybody with information that know his whereabouts to please contact us so that we can get him into custody.”
He said Finlay was conscious when he was transported to hospital and spoke with officers prior to his death.
But Finlay’s condition later deteriorated and he died on Tuesday as a result of the injury he sustained during the assault, Hillier said.
The identification of a suspect in the case comes two days after police released a surveillance camera image showing the person that investigators believed was responsible.
Speaking with reporters outside 55 Division headquarters, Hillier credited the community’s assistance in helping police identify a suspect so quickly.
“To this point, the community has been outstanding. They have provided us with closed circuit television video and we've had numerous witnesses come forward. It's been key in leading the investigators in finding Mr. Cropearedwolf and believing him to be responsible for this assault,” he said.
Tributes continue to pour in
Finlay was a former producer and editor who spent 31 years with the CBC prior to his retirement in 2010.
In a statement released earlier this week, CBC spokesperson Chuck Thompson said that Finlay will be remembered as an “exceptional story-teller, documentary-maker and editor” who represented “the pinnacle of the craft.”
Former CBC journalist Michael Koller also told CTV News Toronto on Wednesday that Finlay was someone who consistently “made your journalism better” while working as an editor with ‘Sunday Morning’ and ‘The World at Six.’
“When it came time to have your stories reviewed before they went out on the airways, you kind of hoped Michael was going to be the one that would do the vetting process. It often hurt when he was finished with you but you knew consistently that the story would be better for it,” he said.
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