Skateboarders hold vigil for rider killed in collision
Published Wednesday, May 16, 2012 10:01PM EDT
More than 200 people gathered in a downtown Toronto park Wednesday evening to remember Ralph Bissonnette, the 28-year-old man who was killed in a traffic collision earlier in the week.
Many of those in attendance didn't even know Bissonnette, who was killed after he was struck by a taxi near King and George Streets while riding his skateboard at approximately 6 p.m. on Monday.
But many were skateboarders themselves. Many road longboards, similar to the one Bissonnette rode the night he was killed.
They said the gathering in St. James Park showed their sense of community.
"I'm here in memory of Ralph. I didn't know him personally, but I'm here to show support," one man who attended the vigil told CP24.
Police said there was some sort of confrontation between the taxi driver and Bissonnette before the collision. They allege that the driver intentionally stuck Bissonnette.
On Tuesday, Adib Ibrahim, 43, of Toronto, was charged with second-degree murder.
Those who gathered Wednesday moved down the street from the park, to the site of the collision that claimed Bissonnette's life.
They posted a white skateboard, a "ghost board," above a growing memorial at the site and lit candles.
Earlier in the day, shop owners at a store near where Bissonnette was killed erected their own small memorial at the site, a white sign reading: "In memory of a life lost. Rest in Peace Ralph Bissonnette."
"We felt that the flowers and tokens left behind where the victim was struck and killed needed to have their story told," said Jamie LeBlanc Alexander, owner of Alexander Interiors and Design Inc.
Ibrahim has been remanded in jail. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 22.
Those who showed up at the vigil were urged not to escalate the situation and to allow police to do their job in the investigation.