Bar­ring­ton res­i­dents worry about pres­ence of neigh­bour

Man was found not crim­i­nally re­spon­si­ble in 2001

Tri-County Vanguard - - EXTRAS ONLINE - NI­COLE MUNRO SALTWIRE NET­WORK

Cindy Har­ris says her next-door neigh­bour, who was found not crim­i­nally re­spon­si­ble for mur­der­ing two peo­ple in On­tario in 2001, is roam­ing her street in Bar­ring­ton and ter­ror­iz­ing the com­mu­nity.

“He runs out and chases cars,” the Blanche Road res­i­dent said of Greg Laber­akis in a phone in­ter­view last week. “It’s like he thinks he owns the road or some­thing.”

Har­ris has lived next to Laber­akis for about three years and is con­cerned he may be­have sim­i­larly to the way he has in the past.

Laber­akis shot and killed Dante Lozano and Jerry So­ri­ano in their Toronto home on Oct. 9, 2001.

He was found “not crim­i­nally re­spon­si­ble on a count of men­tal dis­or­der,” states a 2006 On­tario Su­pe­rior Court of Jus­tice doc­u­ment.

Laber­akis moved back to his On­tario home­town in 2007 be­fore mov­ing to Bar­ring­ton in 2015.

“There was no pos­i­tive ev­i­dence on which the board could have found that Mr. Laber­akis con­tin­ued to pose a sig­nif­i­cant threat to the safety of the pub­lic,” stated a 2012 On­tario Court of Ap­peal doc­u­ment.

Laber­akis was given an ab­so­lute dis­charge as “risk as­sess­ment tests in­di­cate that the ap­pel­lant poses a low risk to the com­mu­nity.”

“We didn’t know who he was when he first moved in,” said Har­ris. “I gave him wel­come gifts and ev­ery­thing. I went there with my grand­daugh­ter.”

Har­ris said the neigh­bour­hood has changed since he moved onto the eight kilo­me­tre dead-end dirt road.

“My daugh­ter moved. She’s gone. Her house is for sale,” said Har­ris, whose daugh­ter was Laber­akis’s other neigh­bour.

“I’m scared to death for some­body that’s go­ing to buy Lisa’s house next door,” she said. “There’s been hun­dreds of com­plaints and no­body does any­thing.”

Har­ris ob­tained a Pro­tec­tion of Prop­erty Act or­der last year and doesn’t plan on mov­ing.

Free­land Reynolds was a care­taker for 20 years at the house di­rectly across from Laber­akis’s, but said he had to stop go­ing.

“Last sum­mer I couldn’t mow the grass with­out be­ing swarmed by his dogs,” re­called Reynolds of Le­ber­akis’s pets. Reynolds al­leged Laber­akis shines lights into peo­ple’s cars. The for­mer care­taker said he’s con­cerned about peo­ple’s safety.

“Ev­ery time, I’ve been afraid,” he said.

Har­ris said the RCMP should have no­ti­fied the com­mu­nity Laber­akis was mov­ing in and of his his­tory.

Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of the District of Bar­ring­ton deputy war­den Jody Crooks said last week he wasn’t aware of Laber­akis liv­ing in Bar­ring­ton.

Archie Kaiser, a law pro­fes­sor at Dal­housie Univer­sity, said po­lice have “nei­ther obli­ga­tion nor author­ity to re­lease in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing (Laber­akis’s) prior his­tory,” be­cause he doesn’t fall un­der the Jus­tice De­part­ment’s re­lease of high-risk of­fender in­for­ma­tion pro­to­col pol­icy.

“This per­son is en­ti­tled to live in the com­mu­nity like any­one else, un­less there is any re­li­able in­di­ca­tion that there is an on­go­ing sug­ges­tion of crim­i­nal­ity,” said the law pro­fes­sor.

Peo­ple found not crim­i­nally re­spon­si­ble face a dou­ble stigma of be­ing in­volved in the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem and hav­ing men­tal ill­ness, said Kaiser.

“It presents ad­di­tional bar­ri­ers to com­mu­nity in­te­gra­tion and un­for­tu­nately that does make it harder for peo­ple to get on with their lives,” he said. “If there are any new acts com­mit­ted by the ac­cused and, not con­sid­er­ing his prior his­tory ... then of course the po­lice can in­ves­ti­gate and take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion.”

Cpl. Jen­nifer Clarke said the RCMP have not laid any charges in re­la­tion to Laber­akis.

Reynolds said the com­mu­nity wouldn’t be mak­ing a fuss if Le­ber­akis was re­spect­ful.

“I can see the guy did what he did and he’s out in so­ci­ety, but he doesn’t have to act this way,” said Reynolds.

“I want the com­mu­nity to be safe com­ing down my beau­ti­ful road, look­ing at the wildlife,” said Har­ris. “I’m get­ting pretty tired of this.”

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