Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's friend arrested: reports

Mayor Rob Ford’s occasional driver and friend Alessandro Lisi was arrested Tuesday night by Toronto police at an Etobicoke dry cleaners, according to several published reports.

Alessandro Lisi, mayor's occasional driver, arrested at Etobicoke dry cleaners Tuesday night

Mayor Rob Ford's friend and occasional driver was arrested Tuesday night at an Etobicoke cleaners, according to published reports. (Tony Smyth)

Mayor Rob Ford’s occasional driver and friend was arrested last night by Toronto police at an Etobicoke dry cleaners, according to several published reports.

Reports in the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail say that Alessandro (Sandro) Lisi, 35, was taken into custody at around 8 p.m. ET after officers in plain clothes and unmarked cruisers arrived at the Richview Cleaners, located at Eglinton Avenue and Wincott Drive.

Toronto police taped off the area around the business, CBC's Tony Smyth tweeted from the scene early Wednesday morning. Plainclothes police entered and searched the premises around 3 a.m.

Police left carrying one plastic bin, Smyth said, but it was unclear whether any items were in it.

Undercover police officers entered and searched Richview Cleaners early Wednesday morning. (Tony Smyth)

A little later, police entered and searched the house where Lisi is living, which is believed to be owned by his parents, Smyth reported.

Police were inside the house and garage around 4 a.m. A police dog accompanied an officer inside the house twice.

Officers in six cars left the residence shortly before 5 a.m. It was unclear whether any residents were home at the time.

The Toronto Star had previously reported that Lisi had been searching for a video that allegedly showed the mayor smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine.

The scandal broke in May, when reporters from the Toronto Star and the U.S. website Gawker reported they were shown such a video.

Ford said "I do not use crack cocaine" and denied being addicted, and he called the allegations related to the video "ridiculous."

CBC News has not seen the video and cannot verify its contents or existence.

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