a public security guard over- stepped his authority when he arrested a youth for trespassing at a Bleeker Street apartment building, a judge has ruled. The judge also threw out a police charge of resisting arrest against the youth and his friend. The police had been called to the scene by the guard. The Metro Toronto Housing Corporation officer did not have the authority to arrest the youth for trespassing in the first place, the judge said, since he was an invited guest of the other youth, who is a resident of the building. The guard told the court that he suspected one of the youths of dealing drugs.
Peter Rosenthal, a lawyer for one of the two youths charged, says harassment by security guards has been an ongoing problem in St. James Town.
"We've been told by people there that when they complained to Metro Housing officials about the kids being harassed, the officials always told them that the kids were misbehaving," says Rosenthal. "But here the (guard) testified that they were just sitting on the bench for a couple of minutes."