Suspect allegedly assaulted man at Medieval Times before swimming naked with sharks at Ripley's
Joshua Freeman and Kayla Goodfield, CP24.com
Published Monday, October 15, 2018 12:20PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, October 15, 2018 10:28PM EDT
Toronto police are searching for a 37-year-old man accused of assaulting a man outside of Medieval Times on Friday night before heading to Ripley’s Aquarium where he allegedly stripped naked and went for a swim in a tank full of sharks.
At around 8 p.m., officers were called to the area of Dufferin Street and Saskatchewan Road for a report of an assault.
At the time, a patron at a Medieval Times show became unruly and was asked by security to leave, police said. When he refused, he was escorted out of the building.
Outside the venue, a 34-year-old man was having a cigarette when he was assaulted in an apparently random attack, according to investigators. The assailant fled the area and the victim was taken to hospital with head injuries, two black eyes and a broken tooth.
Police said two glass doors were also kicked in at the venue.
Investigators said they believe the same man then made his way to Ripley’s Aquarium a few hours later.
“This may very well be the same man who did the assault near Medieval Times,” Toronto police spokesperson Katrina Arrogante told CP24.
A video of the incident posted online Monday shows a man freely swimming through the tank as fish go by while a girl on the video audibly expresses her disbelief.
Police said they received a call about an indecent exposure incident at the popular tourist location at around 10:30 p.m. that same night.
According to Ripley’s, surveillance video shows the man purchased a ticket to the aquarium shortly after 10 p.m. He immediately stripped naked, climbed over a security barrier and then jumped into the shark tank on the main level of the aquarium.
The man exited the tank when security persuaded him to do so, but then jumped back in again as a large crowd watched. He eventually left the tank for good, walked naked through the crowd, got dressed and then exited the aquarium.
When police arrived, the swimmer was gone.
In a statement, Ripley’s said it is willing to press charges if the man is found.
“The individual fled the scene, however, TPS has been provided with both surveillance video and footage taken by staff and guests,” the statement read. “Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is cooperating with authorities and is willing to press all appropriate charges once the individual has been apprehended.”
Ripley’s Aquarium, located at the base of the CN Tower, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city and is usually frequented by families.
The stripping incident happened as the venue was hosting its popular “Friday Night Jazz” event where patrons enjoy live jazz music as they take in the sights of the aquarium.
Speaking with CP24 Monday, Ripley’s General Manager Peter Doyle says he sees the incident as a “pre-mediated” act rather than a whim by a regular patron.
“We end jazz night at 11 o’clock. So He wasn’t here for jazz night, he was here to do what he did,” Doyle said.
While many people might dream of swimming with ocean creatures, Doyle said this incident is a first for the aquarium.
“We’ve been open for five years and nothing like this has ever happened before,” he said
None of the patrons or animals were injured in the incident, police said.
The suspect wanted in connection with both of these incidents was identified by Toronto officers as David Weaver, of Nelson, B.C. on Monday night.
Police released a photo Sunday of the suspect wanted in connection with the alleged assault at Medieval Times. He has been described as a man between the ages of 35 and 40 years of age, standing five-foot-10 and weighing about 220 pounds. Investigators said he has a shaved head, dark goatee, a tattoo on his lower leg, and missing teeth. He was seen wearing a dark hoodie, dark jeans with a green T-shirt and gray and white shoes.
Investigators said he is believed to be driving a green Dodge Caravan with the British Columbia license plate PL120G.
Anyone with further information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.