Woman accused of tossing chair off Toronto highrise balcony released on bail
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2019 7:38AM EST Last Updated Thursday, February 14, 2019 8:24AM EST
Charges have been laid against the woman who police say was seen on a viral video throwing a chair over a downtown Toronto balcony.
A suspect was identified Wednesday as 19-year-old Toronto resident Marcella Zoia. She turned herself in at a police station at around 7 a.m.
The nine-second video started circulating online over the weekend.
In the video, a woman tosses a chair off the balcony of a highrise building near Harbour and York streets. While the video ends before the chair hits the ground, police said the chair was found damaged “almost beyond recognition” at the entrance of a nearby building.
Investigators allege the woman also threw a second chair and other objects from the balcony that day.
No one was injured as a result.
Toronto police said a suspect was taken into custody upon showing up at the police station Wednesday morning. She was without a lawyer, police said, but has been cooperative with the investigation.
The suspect is facing three charges – mischief-endangering life, mischief or damage to property under $5,000, and common nuisance.
She appeared in a Toronto courtroom in the afternoon where she was granted bail, set at $2,000, and released.
As part of her conditions, Zoia must reside with a surety – her mother – and cannot be in contact with four other people believed to be involved in the incident.
She is also not to attend two addresses – one on Maple Leaf Square and the other on Bremner Boulevard.
Zoia left the courthouse escorted by her lawyer. She smiled as reporters asked her questions, but did not say anything.
“She is embarrassed by what happened. She wishes it never happened. Of course she would never wish that anybody be hurt,” her lawyer, Gregory Leslie, said. “We will just take this through the proper course, through the right channels and we’ll go from there.”
“We’re going to have discussions with the Crown’s office. This might not go to trial. We’ll see how this works, but that’s a long way down the road,” Leslie said.
Police said tips on social media helped investigators identify the woman in the video, which they described as “very callous.”
“(She had) no regard for anybody that might be passing underneath,” Const. David Hopkinson said, adding that the area is often filled with tourists and pedestrians.
As part of their investigation, police are looking into whether the condo unit was being used as a short-term rental property at the time the video was taken.
Neighbours told CTV News Toronto that they believed it was being operated as one that day.
In a statement released late Tuesday, Airbnb said it would look into whether any of its users were involved in the incident.
“We are outraged by the blatant disregard for community safety on display in the video,” Airbnb said. “We will be suspending any guest’s accounts that appear to be connected to this incident.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory said the video shows “grossly irresponsible behaviour.”
“I think it’s a good thing that she turned herself in, but it doesn’t change the apparent irresponsible behaviour,” he said at an unrelated event Tuesday.
“I just hope that people take from the example of the consequences that will follow this woman – that this is irresponsible behaviour that is unacceptable. I hope they would’ve concluded that earlier on.”