Men charged in Union Station brawl seeking restorative justice to resolve case

Lawyers for a father and son charged after an altercation with TTC enforcement officers that was caught on video a year ago are working on a settlement that will keep the case from going to trial.

Father and son charged after video of fracas posted to YouTube

A screengrab from a YouTube video of the brawl at Union Station shows a TTC special constable, left, arresting a man, centre, after the two had exchanged blows on Jan. 29, 2015. (Jorge Pinzon/YouTube)

Lawyers for a father and son charged after an altercation with TTC enforcement officers that was caught on video a year ago are working on a settlement that will keep the case from going to trial.

Russell Gillman, then 63, and his son, Jamie Gillman, then 33, were charged with assault and uttering death threats after a video of the incident was posted to YouTube and quickly went viral.

On Wednesday, dressed in suits, the two men stood quietly in court as their lawyers and the Crown told a judge that they are pursuing a relatively new judicial process called restorative justice.

Defence lawyer Bruce Daley said the Gillmans will explore ways to offer restitution for the incident.

"We don't want to be in any way mysterious about it, but I really can't say anything more about what it will look like other than it is a process and there are a lot of different options open to the parties," Daley told CBC News.

"We are going to see what works best."

The Gillmans are due back in court in April, when both sides will update the judge on the progress of negotiations.

The Gillmans were charged after a six-minute video of the incident from the evening of Jan. 29, 2015 was posted to YouTube. It quickly went viral.

The incident occurred as Maple Leaf fans were pouring out of the Air Canada Centre and into Union Station following a hockey game.

A middle-aged man and his son can be seen struggling with a TTC officer before the younger man throws a few punches.

Everyone involved appears to struggle or throw a punch at some point. During one moment where the situation appears to be calming down, one of the transit enforcement officers punches one of the men hard in the face twice.

Later, the same officer throws a flurry of punches at the man as he's held against a wall. 

A second TTC officer joins the melee before Toronto police officers arrive.

At the time, TTC head Andy Byford said the fracas was not related to a fare dispute.

In August, the two special constables were cleared of wrongdoing following a Toronto police investigation, which found their actions "lawful and justified."

At that time, Daley said he was "extremely disappointed" with that finding.

Following its own analysis of use of force, the TTC announced it would strengthen its review process following these types of incidents.

Now, any TTC employee involved in an altercation where force is applied will automatically have their actions reviewed by an internal committee that will include a third-party expert on use of force.

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