“When you look at the original reason we were there, it was over $250,” he said. “It was accommodation for this elderly couple.”
He also said he suffered scratches and bruises and will be speaking with a criminal defence lawyer on Wednesday.
Global News contacted Toronto police Tuesday evening about the incident. A spokesperson for the service said she hasn’t received details about a possible call.
The video comes after several tenants living in six apartment buildings owned and operated by MetCap Living began a rent strike on May 1 to fight back against massive rent increases and the lack of repairs to their units.
WATCH: Parkdale residents refuse to pay rent to protest proposed hike. Cindy Pom reports. (May 1)
Residents say the buildings’ management company is increasing the rent by nine per cent over three years in addition to the provincially instituted guideline of 1.5 per cent this year.
Earlier this month, Merrill told Global News the three per cent increases over three years are only for some of the company’s buildings. He said the affected buildings need to be fixed.
“If you give me any issue a resident has, we will 100 per cent make sure it’s dealt with. That’s why we have a help line,” he said.
“The buildings are older and they need constant upkeep and repair. We’re entitled to put through an increase as a result of that under the legislation. If they didn’t pay their rent, they could get evicted, yes.”
Meanwhile, Laforest said he and others will continue to protest over conditions at buildings owned by MetCap Living.
Global News attempted to speak with Merrill about the video, but he was unavailable for comment as of Tuesday evening.
With files from David Shum