Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Hooligans" take bats to parked cars -- Toronto, Canada

A group of bat-wielding vandals smashed vehicles in a Toronto neighbourhood early Wednesday, leaving residents to pick up the pieces — and the bills.

Cops were called to the Harbord St.-Ossington Ave. area after four people were seen walking up a residential street with baseball bats at about 2:45 a.m.

By the time officers arrived, at least 23 vehicles had been smashed, Toronto Police Const. Tony Vella said.

One Crawford St. resident, who asked not to be named, said he awoke to the sounds of bats hitting vehicles.

“There was ‘smash, smash.’ I heard about six,” the man said, standing across the street from his yellow Volkswagen Beetle and its smashed side-view mirror.

The man said he saw four people walk up the street with bats, pick up a discarded mattress from the sidewalk and throw it on the street.

Police slapped the quartet — two men and two women between the ages of 18 and 22 — in police bracelets.

“Hats off to the police. They did a great job,” the man said.

While Vella said it appeared alcohol played a factor, the man disagreed, saying, “I don’t think they were drunk. They were just jackasses.”

“Stay out of 14 Division,” was his message to the perpetrators. “I hope the judge makes them pay because I’m not going to pay insurance.”

With his Beetle — licence plate: MR HAPPY — parked in front of the Kadampa Buddhist Temple, he added: “It’s bad karma to hit Mr. Happy in front of the Buddhist temple.”

Antonio de Oliveira said he also won’t be going through insurance to fix damage to his truck. While his premiums won’t go up, he’s stuck with a $150 bill to fix his vehicle’s side-view mirror.

“What can you do? People do stupid things,” de Oliveira said. “They got caught. That’s the main thing, so let the system run its course.”

Toronto Police Const. Tony Vella said the vandalism appeared to be “a random act.”

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