Woman accused of tossing chair off of condo balcony released on bail
Codi Wilson and Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2019 7:38AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 13, 2019 7:42PM EST
The woman accused of tossing chairs and other objects off of the balcony of a downtown highrise has been released on bail following a court appearance Wednesday.
The suspect, who has been identified as 19-year-old Toronto resident Marcella Zoia, turned herself in at around 7 a.m. after officers contacted her on Tuesday to discuss a plan for her surrender.
The incident was captured on video and is believed to have occurred at a building near Harbour and York streets on Saturday morning.
The short video, which circulated online over the weekend, shows a young woman with long, blonde hair holding a chair on a condo balcony overlooking the Gardiner Expressway.
The woman proceeds to chuck the chair off of the balcony, which is located on a very high floor.
Police confirmed that the woman seen in the video also threw a second chair off of the balcony along with other items. Police say all of the objects were later located in front of an entrance to a condo building in the area.
No injuries were reported.
Const. David Hopkinson called the lack of regard for public safety “very callous.”
“I know for myself when I saw the initial video I just thought it was very callous. (She had) no regard for anybody that might be passing underneath. I can think of some pretty horrific situations,” he told CP24 on Wednesday.
Hopkinson added that police received several tips through social media about the identity of the suspect.
“People were absolutely outraged. That is likely why we got so much help from the public,” he said.
Police said Wednesday that Zoia has been charged with mischief— endangering life, mischief — damage to property over $5,000, and common nuisance.
Police say she arrived at 52 Division this morning without a lawyer and has been cooperative with the investigation.
She made an appearance at the College Park courthouse for a bail hearing afterward and was released on $2,000 bail.
As part of the conditions of her bail, Zoia must live with her mother and have no contact with four other parties named in the incident.
She may not possess any weapons as defined by the criminal code and is barred from attending the Residences of Maple Leaf Square at 55 and 65 Bremner Boulevard.
She emerged from her bail hearing to a crush of cameras and reporters. Escorted by her lawyer, she smiled but said nothing.
“She is embarrassed by what happened. She wishes it never happened. Of course she would never wish that anybody be hurt,” her lawyer, Gregory Leslie, told reporters.
Asked if his client understands the public outrage at her alleged actions, Leslie said she does.
“Of course – Ms. Zoia understands that as well,” he said.
He acknowledged that the video evidence gives the Crown a “strong case,” but said he’s hopeful the case will not go to trial.
“We will just take this through the proper course, through the right channels and we’ll go from there,” Leslie said. “We’re going to have discussions with the Crown’s office. This might not go to trial. We’ll see how this works, but that’s a long way down the road.”
Neighbours of the unit where the incident is believed to have taken place say it is used as a short-term rental property.
In a statement released Tuesday, Airbnb said it is investigating whether any of its users were involved in the incident.
“We are outraged by the blatant disregard for community safety on display in the video,” Airbnb said. “We will be suspending any guest’s accounts that appear to be connected to this incident.”
In a letter sent to owners and tenants at Maple Leaf Square Condos, the condo's board of directors said the incident occurred at a unit in the south tower.
"Management cooperated fully with the police investigation,” the letter read. "Please remember that throwing anything from a balcony or a window could cause damage and could also lead to criminal charges."