TORONTO CA October 17 2018 – Police say a man who stunned patrons and staff at a popular Toronto aquarium when he stripped naked, hopped a security barrier and jumped into a large shark tank is wanted in connection with an earlier assault.
The man spent several minutes swimming in the tank with sand tiger sharks, sawfish and moray eels at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, located beside Toronto’s CN Tower, around 10:30 p.m. Friday as a crowd looked on.
Police say they are looking for David Weaver, 37, of Nelson, B.C., who is also wanted in connection with an alleged assault at another location earlier Friday evening that seriously injured a man. Weaver has since been arrested.
At one point, according to officials and videos posted online, the man briefly paused his swim and appeared to be getting out at the urging of security guards. A moment later, he dove backwards into the tank as onlookers let out a cheer.
The aquarium said the man was with a woman when he entered and exited the facility, but left behind his jacket and T-shirt as he scrambled to leave before police officers arrived.
“It was premeditated and intentional,” the aquarium’s general manager Peter Doyle told The Canadian Press on Monday. “He wasn’t here to enjoy jazz night because he was only here for 20 minutes.”
The aquarium — which said it is “willing to press all appropriate charges” over the incident — said the incident took place during a bi-weekly event called Friday Night Jazz, which features live music and cash bars.
The facility’s surveillance footage shows the man and a woman bought tickets to the event at 10 p.m. and made their way directly to the “dangerous lagoon,” the 2.9 million-litre tank that is the centrepiece of the tourist attraction, Doyle said.