Coronavirus: man throws away caution tape surrounding London, Ont. playground

On the same day the City of London launched a tipline for the public to report coronavirus-related violations, a local man reported two people allegedly tearing down the caution tape surrounding a playground in Gibbons Park.

Mike Cunningham posted a video to Facebook shortly after 7 p.m. on Friday showing a man holding caution tape walking alongside a woman. Cunningham and at least one other man and woman are heard off-camera expressing outrage.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — New city tipline looks to crack down on Londoners violating COVID-19 orders

“Nobody’s sick,” said the woman walking alongside the man holding the caution tape.

“We’re free, we’re free people,” the man said.

“Who do you see hacking up a lung right now?” the woman added.

“Let’s follow them, let’s find out his licence plate,” said a man off-camera.

The man on video then throws the caution tape into a garbage bin before he and the woman split up. The camera follows the man up the sidewalk in the park’s parking lot.

“You’re a psycho, buddy. You’re psychotic,” the man said, turning back to Cunningham.

“No, you are. You’re psychotic. You’re the one that took the stuff down,” Cunningham said.

“How many kids’ lives are on your hands?” a woman’s voice can be heard yelling in the background off-camera.

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Caution tape has been put back up at Gibbons Park after it was removed on Friday. Sawyer Bogdan/Global News Radio 980 CFPL
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A sign at Gibbons Park explains why the playground has been cordoned off. Sawyer Bogdan/Global News Radio 980 CFPL

“You’re stalking me,” said the man, before turning back towards Cunningham.

“Tell me what your problem is,” he added.

“You can’t take the stuff down,” another man said before Cunningham asked, “What makes you think you can take it down?”

“I’m a free man, I’m free,” the man responded.

READ MORE: City of London, Ont. closes all outside play structures amid COVID-19 pandemic

The argument continues before the man continues to walk away, calling the others “sick.”

“See, I told you he didn’t have a car,” Cunningham laughed as he continues to film the man as he leaves the parking lot.

“Of course he doesn’t,” said the other man off-camera.

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Coun. Shawn Lewis confirmed that the city had received the report, saying the city had put signage and taped the playgrounds so that it would be very clear that they are closed.

“There was one incident on the weekend of a couple tearing the caution tape off the playground. Not helpful, but that was thankfully reported to us so we could follow up on that,” he said.

“If we’re not respectful, then it means we’re going to have to put more restrictions.”

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As of noon Monday, there was no word as to the status of the city’s investigation into the incident.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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