Ford called cops

Says police advised him to leave home


Fri, March 28, 2008



City Councillor Rob Ford, with his 3-year-old daughter on Wednesday after his arrest on charges of assault and uttering death threats, says he plans to fight the allegations. (Dave Abel/Sun Media)


Councillor Rob Ford says police told him to leave his Etobicoke home -- and take his two young children -- the night before he was charged with spousal abuse.

Police arrested the maverick politician Wednesday morning and charged him with assault and uttering a death threat.

Ford, who's to appear in court on April 28, said he plans on fighting the charges.

"On Tuesday night I had to contact the police. When they arrived, they saw a situation and they suggested that I leave and take my kids with me immediately," Ford said yesterday, leaving his lawyer, Dennis Morris, to comment on allegations against him.

Morris said Ford's wife, Renata, was present when his client returned to his home Wednesday morning to pick up fresh clothes for work.

He alleged Ford's wife's behaviour was "irrational and out of control" upon his return and called the police.


Morris said there is a "virtual mandatory arrest policy" in Ontario when it comes to allegations of spousal assault, insisting police automatically lay charges when a wife accuses her husband of domestic violence.

He said he has not been informed of any specifics about the allegations against his client.

Ford's wife was unavailable for comment.

Speaking at his City Hall office, Ford said yesterday he is now living at a residence owned by another family member and maintains custody of his 3-year-old daughter and 6-month-old son.

The councillor for Etobicoke North (Ward 2) said he will stay at his job and expressed a desire to look for spending cuts when city council tackles this year's $8-billion budget next week.

"It's challenging. Every family has their problems. Mine are a little bit more exposed because I'm in public life," Ford said. "That's what you get with this job. If you want to be a politician, be prepared to have an open book."

Mayor David Miller said it's up to Ford, one of his critics, to decide whether he can keep doing his job with charges hanging over his head.

"Past that, I really can't comment. He has been charged with some very, very serious offences and it's up to the courts to decide whether those charges are upheld," Miller said.

Most councillors asked by the Sun were reluctant to comment or shared Miller's view that it's up to Ford to decide whether to step down.

However, Councillor Doug Holyday argued that there's no reason for his colleague to step aside. "That would be pre-judging him," he said.

A family member at the couple's Etobicoke home said Renata has been extremely distraught since the incident and she plans to fight to get her children back.

The modest house, in an upscale area near Scarlett Rd. and Eglinton Ave. W., is surrounded by mansions.

A sign hanging on the front door yesterday read: "Love will conquer all." Several clothes hangers lay in a snowbank on the lawn with men's dress socks clinging to them.

Meanwhile, a Facebook group called "We Support Councillor Rob Ford" had attracted dozens of members as of last night. Many of the messages complained about media coverage of the arrest.

"See how they are trying to make Rob look like some sort of beast so they can sell papers," wrote Shaun Empire, of Los Angeles, listed as the creator of the group.