Trial set for man accused of swimming naked in Toronto shark tank

By The Canadian Press
March 29, 2019 - 10:45am

TORONTO — A British Columbia man accused of stripping naked and jumping into a large shark tank at a Toronto aquarium last year is set to stand trial in September.

Crown and defence lawyers agreed during a brief court hearing Friday to trial dates of Sept. 19 and 20 for David Weaver.

The alleged incident took place on Oct. 12, 2018 at the city's Ripley's Aquarium, police have said.

Around 10:30 p.m. a large crowd was sipping cocktails and mingling during a "jazz night" when a man allegedly took off his clothes, hopped a security barrier and jumped into the "dangerous lagoon" of aquarium, which is located beside the CN Tower in downtown Toronto.

The aquarium's manager called the act "premeditated and intentional" and said surveillance cameras showed the man arrive with a woman around 10 p.m. and pay for two tickets. Ripley's said the pair walked directly to the tank where the man allegedly jumped in the water about half an hour later.

The man spent several minutes swimming in the tank with sand tiger sharks, sawfish and moray eels as a crowd looked on, officials have said.

Videos posted to social media showed the man starting to climb out of the 2.9-million litre tank at the urging of a security guard before performing a back dive into the water. Officials said the man then got out and scrambled to get dressed and left behind a T-shirt and his jacket.

The videos show a woman in a leopard-print outfit handing him his clothes before he walks away.

Ripley's said they called police, but an officer said that by the time they arrived a few minutes later, the man was gone.

As the investigation proceeded, police alleged Weaver had assaulted and seriously injured a man two hours earlier that night outside Medieval Times, a dinner and show attraction.

Provincial police arrested Weaver four days later near Thunder Bay, Ont., during a vehicle stop.

He was escorted back to Toronto where he was charged with one count of assault causing bodily harm, mischief under $5,000 and mischief interfering with property.

Weaver, from Nelson, B.C., was not present during Friday's hearing in Toronto.

Liam Casey, The Canadian Press

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