A TTC streetcar operator will face no extra sanctions for leaving his vehicle to chase after an alleged sexual assault suspect earlier this week.
Dino Oroc, a 13-year veteran of the TTC, has received widespread public support for his decision on Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 14, to stop the packed 501 Queen streetcar he was operating near Spadina Avenue and chase a man who had allegedly assaulted a female rider before fleeing from the vehicle.
Following the incident, Oroc, 43, who was not able to catch the man, was temporarily relieved of his duties by the TTC for violating procedure.
But at a Friday afternoon press conference outside the Amalgamated Transit Union’s Downsview headquarters, it was announced by Local 113 leader Bob Kinnear that Oroc will face no additional sanctions and will not lose any pay because of the incident.
Oroc told reporters he understood he violated TTC procedure by leaving his vehicle, but said public safety trumped any other concerns.
“I saw someone’s security at stake,” said Oroc. “I know what the rules are and I thought, ‘OK I’ll deal with them after.’”
Oroc said he stopped his eastbound streetcar on Queen St. W. near Spadina Ave. after hearing a woman’s screams. He left his seat, and went to investigate.
“A man was standing over her left shoulder and he apparently rubbed himself against her twice. He denied it but realized he was caught and ran,” said Oroc.
The man fled east along Queen to John Street. Realizing no one was intervening, Oroc left the streetcar and chased the man up John Street before losing him near the corner of Richmond St. W.
“Anyone with a reasonable mind would have done the same thing,” said Oroc.
He said the public attention has been “overwhelming” but said he had no regrets for his decision despite the possible consequence of losing his job.
“The policy is not up to me. What’s fair is fair,” he said. “I knew there were certain procedures to follow but it didn’t affect my decision. Someone was in need.”
Kinnear said a meeting with TTC management is scheduled for later this afternoon and he expects Oroc will be reinstated soon.
He said Oroc should receive a commendation for his actions.
“I don’t think anyone expects a TTC employee to sit idly in their seat when a female passenger is being assaulted,” said Kinnear.
A press release by the TTC sent later in the day stated the commission had met with Oroc, and TTC procedures and protocols were reinforced. The release states Oroc was returned to duty without loss of pay.