Woman charged after scaling crane is 'adventure-seeking person,' friend says
Codi Wilson and Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Thursday, April 27, 2017 10:15AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 27, 2017 8:12PM EDT
A 22-year-old woman who was rescued after scaling a crane in downtown Toronto on Wednesday is an “adventurous” person who may have just been seeking a “thrill,” a friend of hers says.
At around 4 a.m. Wednesday, police were called to a construction site near Wellesley and Church streets after a woman climbed up a crane, which was approximately 12 storeys tall.
The woman had somehow managed to climb up to the top of the boom and then slide down a cable to a pulley device.
The woman, identified as Marisa Lazo, sat dangling in the air on a narrow block while she waited for crews to rescue her.
Once she was on the ground, police immediately placed her in handcuffs and charged her with mischief.
Friends have since confirmed that a series of photos posted to Instagram do show Lazo on the roofs of several downtown buildings and, in one case, lying across train tracks.
Lazo appeared in court at Old City Hall on Thursday, where she was released on $500 bail. She has been forbidden from visiting construction sites or going on rooftops, per the terms of her bail.
She and her lawyer refused to speak to reporters when they left the courthouse on Thursday afternoon.
Her next appearance is scheduled for May 17.
“She is an adventure-seeking person,” friend Sara Burton told reporters outside court. “Obviously some logic was not coming into place but the fact that she did it was not a shock to me.”
Burton said she is not aware of any mental health issues affecting Lazo. She said her friend is a “really good girl,” albeit someone who occasionally seeks out danger.
“She is always there for the thrill,” she said.
As Lazo appears in court, a Toronto firefighter who scaled the crane to rescue her is being recognized by some high-profile GTA residents.
Toronto Mayor John Tory honoured acting Toronto Fire Capt. Rob Wonfor and other emergency officials at the start of Thursday’s council meeting following the firefighter’s dramatic rescue on Wednesday morning.
At around 8:30 a.m., more than four hours after emergency officials first arrived on scene, Wonfor and Lazo safely rappelled down to the ground.
Speaking to CP24 Thursday morning, Wonfor said he was simply doing his job.
“We’re professionals. Anybody that was on scene would execute that maneuver. It was just my turn. But that’s what we do on the job. We’re here to help. We’re not heroes. We are here to make sure people are out of the jam they get themselves into,” Wonfor said.
Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said the rescue was a “team effort.”
“We are so fortunate to have the level of professionalism and expertise that we have in this city. Rob is an example of that,” Pegg told CP24.
“The rescue we saw yesterday doesn’t happen without our colleagues at both police and paramedic services so we’re really fortunate.”
Those comments were echoed by Tory during his speech to city councillors this morning.
“This acting captain is a long-time veteran of the Toronto Fire Service and while he said yesterday that he was voluntold to go up on that crane and rescue the woman who was up there, his sense of humour underlay a very apparent, keen sense of duty and courage, which is not unlike his colleagues and we see that every day,” Tory said.
“We know, and we want you to know, and we want the people of Toronto to know that this is a small example of the public service rendered every single day by police, firefighters, paramedics, transit workers and a whole bunch of other people.”
The mayor isn’t the only who reached out to Wonfor to acknowledge his bravery following the incident.
Immediately following the rescue, Wonfor went to play in a hockey tournament and during the event, he received a call from Coach’s Corner host Don Cherry.
“It was pretty cool for him to call,” Wonfor said Thursday.
It is still not clear exactly how Lazo managed to climb up the crane or why she decided to do it.