T.O. cops nab fugitive who fled leg irons, hospital

TORONTO - He can run, hide, change his appearance, identity, escape from custody and even try to fly in an effort to elude capture by police.


Alleged burglar Justin Yates has some serious moves in his bag of tricks to avoid going back to jail.

But Toronto Police have a few of their own too.

Yates found that out Saturday night.

The 39-year-old fugitive, on the lam since getting out of metal leg restraints and sneaking out of a hospital bathroom and past two corrections officers Jan. 26, has been collared again.

“We learned that he was possibly staying in a unit at Parliament and Dundas,” explains 52 Division Major Crime Squad Det. Const. Det. Chris Hominuk.

But they had read that script before. 

Like with Steven Spielberg’s famous movie with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, they have been playing cat and mouse with this suspect for two weeks and knew if he was indeed in this apartment, he would not come in easily.

They were right.

“He jumped out of the window,” said one copper on the scene.

Yates landed on a balcony on the floor below. From there he allegedly hid in another unit.

However, police anticipated his next move and grabbed him just as he was about to make a break for freedom. Not before police allege being slashed at with a shard of glass from the broken window.

With this starting to get even more dangerous, police responded in huge numbers and were finally able to tackle this slippery suspect.

Police finally got their man. This time he was placed in even more secure handcuffs and leg irons. Plans for more restraints and guarding for his court appearance Monday was being talked about as well.

Cops know what he can do.

Yates is facing the original theft charges as well as assault police and five other offences, including assaulting a police officer with a weapon.

It had been quite a few weeks for Yates. He’s been on the run with more than $100,000 he allegedly stole from a currency exchange store — something that provided the means to find shade and shelter to avoid detection.

Plus he’s alleged to be a master of disguise, wearing hats and wigs as well as changing his walk and talk.

He really was playing Hollywood-style Catch me if You Can. Turns out Toronto Police can catch Justin Yates.

But it sure wasn’t easy.

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