A 19-year-old Canadian woman turned herself in and was charged after video footage she posted online clearly showed her hurling a chair from a high-rise balcony onto the highway below.
Marcella Zoia was seen throwing the chair from the balcony in downtown Toronto. She surrendered to police on Feb. 13.
Zoia was charged with mischief endangering life, mischief damaging property under $5,000, and common nuisance, and was expected to appear in court later Wednesday.
Video footage showing a woman picking up the chair and throwing it off the balcony onto the Gardiner Expressway was posted to Snapchat and Instagram over the weekend before spreading to other social media websites.
It went viral, garnering over a million views and a raft of comments.
This is not funny, I hope she gets caught!???? #Toronto
Gepostet von Lisa Calderon am Samstag, 9. Februar 2019
The video cut away before the chair slammed into either a car or the road but police officials clarified that no one was injured, which changed the nature of the situation.
“Once we had known who she was, investigators reached out to her and they started to make arrangements for her to turn herself in. We want to give her the opportunity to speak to her lawyer and then come in on her own volition,” Const. David Hopkinson, a spokesman for the Toronto police, told CBC.
“It’s the best for everyone. This being a case where no one was injured, we didn’t have any public safety concerns. It gave us leeway to try and treat her in the best possible way. And that’s what has happened.”
While no one was hurt, someone could very easily have been hit, said Hopkinson, calling throwing the chair “very callous” due to the apparent disregard. Police later said that Zoia threw a second chair off the balcony and pictures were circulating showing both heavily mangled and sitting near the entrance of the apartment building.
— CTV Toronto (@CTVToronto) February 13, 2019
This is allegedly a photo of the chair(s) that were tossed off a condo balcony at Maple Leafs Square. Thankfully it doesn’t appear anyone was injured. pic.twitter.com/dIJfWl9iaM
— Adrian Ghobrial (@CityAdrian) February 11, 2019
“I was outraged, just like everybody else who saw the video,” Hopkinson told the Toronto Star. “Anybody could’ve been walking underneath,” he said, adding if someone was hit, they could have suffered “catastrophic” injuries.
A flurry of emails, calls, and other information came through shortly after the video was published, helping police determine who the woman was.
In a statement sent to the Associated Press, Toronto Mayor John Tory said: “I just hope that people take from the example the consequences that will befall this woman. This is irresponsible behavior that is unacceptable.”
“It was not just a lark gone bad. It was grossly irresponsible behavior that could have caused serious injury and death,” he added.
One resident of the building from which the chair was thrown said she was angry when she learned what happened.
“It could have killed me. I walk in and out of this door multiple times a day. My husband walks out of here,” Julia Mazurick told City News.
“There’s people with babies, with pets, dog walkers, everything. I don’t think there’s anything funny—I don’t know what kind of state of mind you would have to be in actually to think that would be funny.”
Neighbors told CTV that the apartment where the chair was thrown from is used as a short-term rental unit.
“We see people coming in… and out every weekend and it’s never the same people,” one man, who didn’t want to be identified, said.
Contacted for a statement, Airbnb said it was looking into whether any Airbnb guests were involved.
“We are outraged by the blatant disregard for community safety on display in the video,” said spokesman Ben Breit. “We are investigating whether any Airbnb guests were involved and we will be suspending any guest accounts that appear to be connected to this incident.”