Toronto police officers pepper-sprayed and tackled a knife-wielding man in a spectacular takedown yesterday morning, after the man allegedly threatened several women in Moss Park earlier, police said.

Police say that the man, in his early 50s, was in the park near Queen Street and Sherbourne Street just before 10 a.m. when he allegedly began waving a knife at several women in the park and threatening them with it.

Two police officers confronted him on Shuter Street, but when the man refused to drop his knife, the officers pepper sprayed and tackled him. He was eventually disarmed, and was taken to Toronto General hospital to decontaminate from the pepper spray.

The scene in Moss Park is unfortunately all too familiar to nearby residents, who can recall the area’s continuing history of drug crime and visible homelessness.

In 2007, a man in his twenties was found shot in the head in the park.

In 2008, two Canadian Force Reservists pleaded guilty to manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison after the beating death of a homeless man in the park.

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