People are Strange

Back in December, we reacted with shock over news that a TTC driver had been held at gunpoint and forced to take his hijacker on a “joyride” through the downtown core. The media played up this incident, feeding the old “Toronto is dangerous” meme that’s far too easy to fall into.

Today, however, we learn that the driver has been charged with public mischief for making the whole thing up.

“A lot of (the driver’s story) didn’t add up with descriptions and various statements we received,” Hominuk said yesterday. “It very quickly became a public mischief investigation instead of a hijacking investigation.”

There were no other passengers on the bus at the time of the supposed hijacking and no other witnesses could confirm the driver’s story, Hominuk said.

After further investigation, police concluded the driver made the story up in order to get away with running personal errands on company time, he said.

It has to be asked: what kind of sick, twisted individual would make up a story like this in order to use a bus to run a few personal errands (one also wonders if he had to park the thing or go through any pick-up windows. Any Tim Hortons’ reporting strange bus sightings in their drive-thru windows that day?)?

But news of this incident comes at the same day that I hear this story, about Barry Joseph Kirkpatrick, a Kitchener man who had dug a zig-zagging tunnel in his basement to a new 40 square foot dugout with its own air and electricity. Police discovered the hole in the ground after searching through the house multiple times, trying to execute a warrant for the occupant’s arrest, and wondering why they couldn’t find him, even after seeing him enter the house beforehand.

Steve McQueen would have been impressed, says the lawyer for the Kitchener man found hiding from police last weekend in a tunnel he dug under his basement floor.

“The last time I saw somebody come out of a hole like that was Saddam Hussein,” Brock quipped.

He said Kirkpatrick allegedly dug a hole under the cement floor of his basement. It led to a zigzag tunnel or crawl space which led to a room measuring 40 square feet.

The room had its own electrical and air supply, Brock said. The hole in the basement floor was covered by a chest of drawers.

It isn’t clear what alerted police to the makeshift hideout.


The article to goes on to list Kirkpatrick’s numerous problems with the law, including the discovery of about $20,000 worth of stolen goods in his home, plus numerous charges of dangerous driving, leaving the scene of an accident, and driving without a license. The article reads as though Kirkpatrick’s little dugout is something of an escalation of his legal difficulties.

Incidentally, Kirkpatrick has been charged with mischief over $5,000 for the dugout, since his home is a rental unit, and his landlord (who has been trying to evict him for some time) does not see it as an enhancement.

Again, I’m forced to ask, what sort of individual gets into this sort of trouble, and tries to bury himself into the earth in order to avoid it? I can’t comprehend it. I almost want to spend some time in the guy’s mind in order to figure out what he was thinking, but I’d be afraid of what I’d come away with; if this sort of insanity is contagious.

It’s incidents like these which make me wonder if such a thing as normal exists in our society.

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