A streetcar operator who was relieved of duty for chasing down a suspect who he believed had sexually assaulted a woman has been reinstated with pay, the TTC said Friday.

“TTC procedures and protocols were reinforced with the employee with respect to leaving a vehicle unattended,” the TTC said in a statement Friday. “The employee was returned to duty without loss of pay.”

The incident took place Wednesday when a woman on a Queen Street streetcar claimed to have been sexually assaulted by a man who fled from the vehicle. The operator, 43-year-old Dino Oroc, left his seat and pursued the man, drawing criticism from TTC administration who announced he would be relieved of duty so that he could be interviewed about the matter.

“We have been given assurances Dino will be reinstated to his operating position with no loss of wages,” union president Bob Kinnear said at a news conference Friday. “Obviously we recognize there are rules and policies that should be adhered to, but just as important is discretion and judgment should prevail on the Toronto Transit.”

Kinnear said at the news conference that he has spoken with TTC CEO Andy Byford about the incident.

“I don’t think anyone expects a transit operator to sit by idly in his seat as a female passenger is assaulted,” Kinnear said.

In a phone interview with CP24, Byford said he recognized Oroc was acting with good intentions and said the matter was blown out of proportion. He said TTC regulations will be re-examined following the incident.

“We are going to review the protocol. I don’t want operators leaving the vehicle, with the customers just left abandoned,” Byford said. “In general I don’t want people chasing after crime suspects when really that’s the job of the police.”

On Friday Oroc spoke to reporters alongside Kinnear and said he appreciates the support that has come his way since the incident.

“I was being a Good Samaritan. I think anyone with a reasonable mind would have done the same thing,” Oroc said.

Earlier Friday, police said the matter is no longer being investigated as a sexual assault.

While a man and a woman did start yelling at each other after the man allegedly brushed up against the woman, police said Friday there did not appear to be sexual intent involved.

The incident is now being investigated as a dispute that took place between two people. 

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