Foul-mouthed heck­ler sought by po­lice

Po­lice look­ing for man who hurled vul­gar­i­ties at on air CBC re­porter

Cape Breton Post - - CANADA -

Toronto po­lice are work­ing to iden­tify a man heard hurl­ing vul­gar­i­ties at a CBC re­porter mo­ments af­ter the end of the clos­ing cer­e­monies of the Pan Am Games.

Charlsie Agro was live on air Sun­day night re­cap­ping the im­pres­sive per­for­mance of Canada’s fe­male Pan Am ath­letes when a man shouted an ob­scen­ity that’s fre­quently di­rected at fe­male re­porters on the job.

Agro says she tried to chase the man down to con­front him, but lost him in the crowd.

She wound up fil­ing a re­port with Toronto po­lice.

Po­lice say they’re in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent and try­ing to iden­tify the cul­prit.

Const. Scott Mills says it’s too early to de­ter­mine whether any charges could be laid.

Agro says the tim­ing of this par­tic­u­lar in­ci­dent prompted her to join the ranks of re­porters chal­leng­ing the vul­gar trend, which has been in force across Canada and the United States for months.

Ear­lier this year, Agro’s Mon­treal-based CBC col­league Jaela Bern­stien and Shauna Hunt of Toronto’s Ci­tyNews both made head­lines by con­fronting men who shouted the in­sult dur­ing their live cov­er­age. One of Hunt’s heck­lers wound up los­ing his job over the in­ci­dent.

CBC Cal­gary re­porter Meghan Grant man­aged to get one of her heck­lers charged with stunt­ing, an of­fense un­der Al­berta’s Traf­fic Safety Act.

Agro said those con­fronta­tions have ob­vi­ously failed to send the mes­sage that such be­hav­iour is un­ac­cept­able, adding the lo­ca­tion and con­text of this latest in­ci­dent was par­tic­u­larly strik­ing.

“On the last night of the Games, to have this sort of un­for­tu­nate ex­pe­ri­ence … I just don’t think it’s right that peo­ple leave think­ing that some­thing bad would hap­pen at a time when we’re cel­e­brat­ing all that Toronto’s ac­com­plished,” Agro said in a tele­phone in­ter­view.

In her dis­cus­sions with city po­lice, Agro said she ob­tained per­mis­sion to share photos of the al­leged cul­prit on so­cial media.

Const. Scott Mills said the ex­po­sure on Twit­ter has led to sev­eral tips, but said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is still in its early stages.

Mills said in­ves­ti­ga­tors will have to de­ter­mine what, if any, crim­i­nal charges would ap­ply. Such in­ci­dents could the­o­ret­i­cally be treated as mis­chief of­fences un­der the Crim­i­nal Code, but some ju­ris­dic­tions choose to pur­sue charges through civil leg­is­la­tion or mu­nic­i­pal by­laws. Oth­ers may opt not to take any ac­tion at all.

“It’s safe to say that we’re on it, we care, and we’re try­ing to fig­ure out how we’re go­ing to go about this,” Mills said.

Lawyers have pre­vi­ously said that such heck­ling in­ci­dents gen­er­ally fall out­side the purview of work­place sex­ual ha­rass­ment laws, since they in­volve third par­ties who are not di­rectly con­nected to the women’s em­ploy­ers.

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