8 people charged in Canada Day fireworks incident at Woodbine Beach, police say

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People gather on Toronto’s Woodbine Beach to celebrate Canada Day on July 1, 2020. Fireworks, set off by individuals, light up the sky at Woodbine. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
People gather on Toronto’s Woodbine Beach to celebrate Canada Day on July 1, 2020. Fireworks, set off by individuals, light up the sky at Woodbine. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

Toronto police have charged eight people after fireworks were allegedly set off in the direction of officers, police horses and people on Woodbine Beach on Canada Day.

No one was injured, police said in a news release on Monday about the incident, which they say happened between 9:30 p.m. and 9:50 p.m..

Of the eight people charged, one is a 12-year-old boy, police said.

"Officers observed individuals armed with fireworks shooting the fireworks into the crowds, as well as at officers and horses. An officer was struck on the head. Thankfully, they were not injured," the release said.

The other accused include two 16-year-old boys, two 17-year-old boys and one 19-year-old man, as well as a 17-year-old girl and a 20-year-old woman. All are from Toronto, except the 17-year-old girl, who is from Brampton.

They are charged with common nuisance and weapons dangerous. One 16-year-old boy is charged with failure to comply with a release order, while the 20-year-old woman is charged with possession of a prohibited device.

Fireworks illegal in public parks and on beaches

Police reminded Toronto residents that bylaws prohibit fireworks in public parks and beaches.

"It is not only illegal to set off fireworks in Toronto public parks and beaches but it is also extremely dangerous in crowds of people," police said in the release.

"Anyone caught doing so can be arrested and criminally charged. Officers are there to protect the public and keep people safe — firing fireworks at them or members of the public is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

"Police, along with City of Toronto Bylaw Enforcement Officers, will continue to patrol and monitor beaches, including Woodbine and Ashbridges Bay, enforcing against fireworks and any illegal activities."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5500, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).

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