Watch police shoot stolen car in the Distillery District

Plastic and metal debris littered the intersection of Parliament and Mill Sts. Wednesday afternoon, where police opened fire after boxing in a stolen car. More than a dozen bullet holes riddled its hood and parts of police cruisers were scattered across the street. One man has been arrested; there are no reports of injuries.

“I saw two cop cars hit that car and then about six cops got out,” Bryan Martin, who was unlocking his bike at the intersection just after noon, told the Star.

“He wouldn’t get out — the car was kind of pinned. He then revved the gas, and as soon as he did that, the car wouldn’t go anywhere — and that’s when the cops opened fire.”

Martin said an officer took aim at the suspect’s hood.

“Eventually they wrestled him out onto the ground and took him away,” Martin recalled. “He looked like, as I told the cop, like a 58-year-old guy who like lives at a craps table in Vegas. Like a Riviera or Stardust — like a low-end, three star hotel.””

Toronto police received a call about a car stolen from the Bond and Shuter Sts. area around 12:05 p.m. Wednesday. The car was then seen driving erratically near Dundas and Parliament Sts. Police pursued it until the chase ended at Parliament and Mill Sts., beside Toronto’s Distillery District, when two police cruisers boxed in the vehicle.

“I heard gunshots,” Fil Caroro, who works at a car wash across from the scene, told the Star.

“It was five, six straight — boom, boom, boom, boom.”

Caroro, who rushed to the scene, showed the Star a cellphone video of a heavy-set man with graying hair being escorted into the back of a cruiser.

“People were just running through the park, like running, like chaos, tripping over each other,” Shannon Ferguson, who works in an office building that overlooks the adjacent Parliament Square Park, said.

“It was really scary. I didn’t know what was going on.”

Police have identified the accused as 60-year-old Edward Michael Skotnicki. He has been charged with one count each of theft over $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime, flight while pursued by a peace officer, dangerous driving, and driving while disqualified.

In 2007, Skotnicki was arrested in another car chase that included a female officer being dragged alongside the truck he was driving.

After that incident, Skotnicki was charged with 13 counts including negligence causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon and driving while disqualified. The Star does not know at this time how those charges were resolved.

Parliament St. was closed between Mill St. and Lake Shore Blvd. E. for investigation but reopened late Wednesday night.