Police make arrest in Christopher Skinner homicide
Chris Kitching and Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Thursday, November 7, 2013 6:41AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 7, 2013 12:00PM EST
Police have made an arrest in the killing of a 27-year-old man who was beaten and run over by a vehicle in downtown Toronto four years ago.
Police confirmed the arrest at a news conference Thursday morning.
“The investigative team has made significant progress in this case,” Det. Sgt. Stacy Gallant told reporters at a news conference Thursday morning. “Yesterday the driver of this black Ford Explorer was arrested and has been charged with second degree murder in the death of Christopher Skinner.”
Gallant also said at least two more arrests are expected in the case.
"I have some idea about who the other people in the vehicle were," Gallant said.
He added he expects the arrests to come in the near future.
The arrest comes less than a month after Christopher Skinner's family and homicide detectives renewed their appeal for information by releasing a surveillance photo of a sport utility vehicle that they believe was involved in the Oct. 18, 2009, incident.
Skinner had been out celebrating his sister’s birthday when the attack occurred shortly after 3 a.m.
Investigators believe Skinner inadvertently came into contact with a passing sport utility vehicle as he attempted to hail a cab at Adelaide and Victoria streets.
Skinner was then assaulted and knocked to the ground by at least some of the vehicle’s occupants. The suspects got back into the vehicle and the driver, without hesitation, deliberately ran over Skinner as he lay on the street, police said.
The vehicle sped off east on Adelaide.
Police also said Thursday they have recovered the vehicle they believe was used in the homicide.
“I came into possession of this vehicle in the last year in the recent time since we last spoke.” Gallant said.
However he couldn’t provide details about how the vehicle was recovered.
At a news conference Oct. 18, police said they have made significant progress in the investigation and they have identified the make, model, year range and colour scheme of the vehicle. Investigators have not released that information.
Police released a photo that shows the vehicle travelling on Adelaide towards Yonge Street before the incident. Officers have been scouring databases in an effort to identify the vehicle’s owner, driver and passengers the day Skinner was killed.
Throughout the investigation, police said anyone who helped the suspects to avoid arrest will be charged.
Speaking at the news conference Thursday, Skinner’s mother, Ellen Skinner, called the arrest ‘bittersweet.’
"Christopher was a bigger-than-life personality. It was a star that was extinguished," she said.
She added the family never expects to find ‘closure’ in Christopher’s death, but said the arrest helps close a chapter of his murder.
Skinner’s family and police are offering rewards totaling $150,000. Gallant said no one has claimed the reward so far.
Police said Thursday that Agustin Caruso, 23, of Etobicoke, was arrested Wednesday morning without incident and charged with second degree murder.
He made a court appearance Thursday morning.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 416-808-7410 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).
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