SUV driver charged in Christopher Skinner killing
Man, 23, faces second-degree murder charges
Toronto police have filed a second-degree murder charge in the death of Christopher Skinner, the 27-year-old man who was run over and killed after an altercation with a group of people in the city's Entertainment District four years ago.
Police have charged Agustin Caruso, 23, of Etobicoke with second-degree murder and say they expect to lay more charges soon. Police say Caruso, who was 19 at the time, was driving the vehicle when Skinner was killed.
Skinner died after an altercation with the occupants of a black 2004 Ford Explorer near Adelaide Street East and Victoria Street on Oct. 18, 2009.
The attack happened at 3 a.m. Skinner had been celebrating his younger sister's birthday and was walking alone east on Adelaide Street East in the city's Entertainment District.
Police say Skinner was trying to hail a cab when his hand made contact — possibly inadvertently — with the passing Explorer.
Police say the occupants got out of the Explorer and knocked Skinner to the ground where they continued beating him before getting back into the vehicle. Skinner was then run over, police believe intentionally, as he lay on the ground. He died later in hospital.
6 people were in the SUV
Police say there was a total of six people, including two women, in the Explorer when Skinner was killed. Det.-Sgt. Stacy Gallant expressed frustration that the passengers riding in the Explorer remained silent while police issued regular, well-publicized pleas for information.
"I'm disappointed to say that in the four years of this ongoing investigation, none of the individuals that did not participate in the death of Christopher Skinner chose to come forward on their own," he said. "They instead kept this information to themselves and lived with it for the past four years. I feel for the family that had to live with it for four years."
Christopher's father Warren Skinner spoke to CBC's Trevor Dunn on Thursday and said he realizes the arrest is just the start of what he expects will be a "long process" in getting justice for his son.
"We feel a little better, but it's just another step in the process and it can turn out to be a long process," he said.
'Long process' begins for victim's family
Ellen Skinner said it's "horrible" that those riding in the SUV refused to come forward with information.
"They have to live with that for the rest of their lives," she said.
Skinner's family has taken an active role in trying to find those responsible for his death by launching a social media campaign and posting a $150,000 reward for information.
Det.-Sgt. Gallant said Thursday no one has made a claim to the reward money. Gallant also did not say how police obtained the new information that allowed them to lay charges.
Gallant did say that police expect to make more arrests soon.
"I'm sure the people in the vehicle … know that I am pursuing them," he said.