Murat Belir charged with arson in Toronto

On Thursday, October 14, 2010, at 1:44 a.m., police responded to a fire at 22 Close Avenue.

When emergency services arrived, an apartment on the 11th floor was on fire.

It is alleged that:

– the accused used a tire and a refrigerator to barricade the apartment door, and a tire to barricade the balcony doors,

– he used an accelerant to set both tires on fire,

– he rappelled from the 11th-floor balcony to the 10th floor, getting assistance from a tenant on the 10th floor in bringing him to safety,

– the accused fled to the lobby of the apartment, where he was driven away from the scene,

– tenants tried to put the fire out, but were unable to get into the apartment, and pulled the fire alarm.

It is further alleged that:

– at approximately 2:52 a.m., police and ambulance responded to an unknown trouble call in the Lakeshore Boulevard West/Bathurst Street area,

– officers attended and located the above accused, who ran from police,

– a brief foot pursuit ensued, the accused stopped running and tripped an officer, causing her to fall to the ground,

– a struggle ensued and the accused began pulling at the officer’s handgun,

– the officer had to use both her hands to prevent the accused from taking her gun,

– a second police officer and a EMS paramedic assisted the officer in gaining control of the accused, and placed him under arrest.

Murat Belir, 29, of Toronto, is charged with:

1. Arson: Disregard for Human Life,
2. Assault with Intent to Resist Arrest,
3. Disarming a Peace Officer.

He was scheduled to appear in court at Old City Hall on Thursday, October 14, 2010, room 101, 10 a.m.

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