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What prompted police to search 18-year-old on TTC bus?

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Most adults in Toronto realize that they have a wide range of rights available to them and that police must respect those rights. The one exception to that may be teenagers; even though 18-year-olds are adults in Ottawa, it does not mean that they have the same understanding of the legal system that a, say, 40-year-old would. This often means that teenagers will volunteer information to police without realizing that they need not say anything at all. They may also give police permission to search their person or their things when police would otherwise need a warrant.

It is not entirely clear what happened on a TTC bus in the Malvern neighborhood late last month, but police ended up arresting an 18-year-old for allegedly carrying a loaded revolver. Although a story by The Toronto Star does not give much detail about the incident and it is not entirely clear why police were interested in the teenager to begin with. What is certain, however, is that once police arrested the teenager, they had enough evidence to get a warrant to search his home.

In the home, they claim to have found a second loaded gun and methamphetamine. He has been charged with two counts of careless storage of a firearm, two counts of possession of an unauthorized firearm, and possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking.

As the young man and his lawyer prepare for his case, they may wish to track down exactly why the teen was targeted in the first place. If police don’t have sufficient evidence or cause to search him for a gun, they certainly would never have had enough to apply for their subsequent warrant. If it was the teenager who gave police permission to search him, he may have gotten himself in a world of trouble.

Source: The Toronto Star, “Toronto police allegedly find teen with gun on TTC bus,” Kim Magi, 27 Nov. 2013

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