Leaside storefronts smashed in rampage by car

At least 10 Leaside-area businesses and centres had their fronts smashed by a car driver on a rampage early Wednesday morning.

Toronto police arrested a man at about 4:20 a.m. in northeast Scarborough.

Among the sites hit were stores, banks, dealerships, a community centre and a place of worship, police said in a press release.

Locations identified by media included Staples, Home Depot, Robert Lowry Piano Experts and Marshall’s near Eglinton Avenue East and Brentcliffe Road; Sobey’s and Oshkosh B’gosh at Laird Drive and Wicksteed Avenue; Gyro Mazda at Laird and Stickney Avenue; and an unnamed mosque.

Estimates of the number of places hit ranged from 10 to 14.

Police first tweeted around midnight they were responding to reports that “a vehicle has driven into 3 separate store fronts” and were looking for a “black Mercedes with extensive front end damage.”

That was followed with a message that the vehicle was seen on the westbound Gardiner Expressway.

After arriving on the scene, police said they carried out a brief pursuit on the Don Valley Parkway before abandoning that pursuit. They eventually arrested a man and seized a black Mercedes-Benz near McLevin Avenue and Tapscott Road in Scarborough.

Pavithran Tharmapalan, 25, of Pickering, faces 11 counts of mischief over $5,000, three counts of mischief under $5,000 and one count of failure to stop for police. He is also facing charges under the Highway Traffic Act.

He was scheduled to appear in court on May 30.