Manslaughter charge filed against man accused in senior's shoving death

Toronto police announced Tuesday the man charged following a deadly assault downtown last week is facing a more serious charge. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
Toronto police announced Tuesday the man charged following a deadly assault downtown last week is facing a more serious charge. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

A man accused of pushing an 89-year-old woman to the ground who then died in downtown Toronto is now facing an upgraded charge of manslaughter, police said Tuesday.

The incident happened last Friday at 11:39 a.m., police say, in the area of Yonge Street and King Street East. According to a news release, the victim was walking on a sidewalk in the area when a man pushed her and she fell to the ground.

The man took off before police got there, and the victim was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Toronto man Ryan Cunneen, 37, was previously arrested nearby and charged with aggravated assault, but police say his charges have since been upgraded to manslaughter. He was scheduled to appear in court this morning. The homicide and missing persons unit has since taken over the investigation.

Police have not identified the woman, but steps are being taken to notify her next of kin, investigators say.

A pool of blood could be seen in front of a restaurant in the area where the incident happened Friday.

"The information from witnesses and video cameras is she was just simply walking along the sidewalk," Toronto police Insp. Craig Young told reporters at the time.

Chris Glover/CBC
Chris Glover/CBC

Before the assault, police say Cunneen allegedly threw a brick through the window of a business in the Church Street and Front Street East area.

Court documents show the incident took place at a Subway restaurant. Cunneen was subsequently charged with a count of mischief under $5,000, according to the documents.

Anyone with information about the case is being asked to contact police at 416-808-7400, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), or at www.222tips.com.