Canada

TTC subway pusher shown restrained leniency in sentencing

Judge credited John Reszetnik’s remorse, lack of prior criminal history and guilty plea in decision

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The man who pushed an elderly man in front of a TTC subway train nearly three years ago will have to wait 14 years before he’s eligible for parole.

That’s one year less than the Crown had requested for 56-year-old John Reszetnik, who in January pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the June 2018 death of 73-year-old Yosuke “Yoshi” Hayahara.

On Monday, Superior Court Justice John McMahon sentenced Reszetnik to life imprisonment without possibility of parole for 14 years.

Reszetnik was also handed a firearms prohibition, must provide a sample of his DNA and must undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

The question of Reszetnik’s mental state played heavily during the trial — from his justification of mental illness while confessing his crime to a Toronto firefighter at the scene to his refusal to cooperate with a pre-sentencing psychiatric assessment.

John Reszetnik was charged in the death of Yosuke Hayahara on the TTC on June 18, 2018.
John Reszetnik fatally pushed Yosuke Hayahara on the TTC on June 18, 2018. Toronto Sun files

“Despite my urging of Mr. Reszetnik to assist the court and potentially provide a mitigating factor and steps of any treatment, he refused to cooperate,” McMahon said in his decision.

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On the morning of June 18, 2018, Reszetnik pushed Hayahara in front of an oncoming train at Bloor-Yonge station.

Pulled under the subway, Hayahara became pinned between the train and the wall. The critically injured grandfather was freed by emergency crews and rushed to a nearby trauma centre, where he later died.

Reszetnik, the court heard, lingered on the platform and was among the last of the public to leave.

He then purchased a drink at a nearby McDonald’s before admitting his crime to a Toronto firefighter.

He told the firefighter and later police that he thought Hayahara was his landlord, whom he claimed was in the process of evicting him.

As he had during the entirety of the trial, Reszetnik showed no emotion as his fate was read out in court — standing in an orange jumpsuit from a viewing room at Toronto South Detention Centre.

McMahon credited Reszetnik’s remorse, lack of prior criminal history and the guilty plea in his decision to show restrained leniency.

“By pleading guilty, he provided certainty of resolve to both the court and the crown,” McMahon said in his decision.

“He saved valuable court time, and more importantly by pleading guilty and taking responsibility for his actions, he has saved Mr. Hayahara’s family and friends having to relive the nightmare of what happened.”

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On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume

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