Barrington residents worry about presence of neighbour
Man was found not criminally responsible in 2001
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.”