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'High-risk offender' thought to be in Barrie arrested up north

Provincial police say Tony Gordon was arrested Tuesday by Sioux Lookout OPP on an outstanding warrant
Barrie police released these images of Tony Gordon, 30, in connection to a public alert about a "high-risk offender" believed to have been living in the community.

A "high-risk offender" believed to be living in Barrie, and the subject of a rare public safety advisory issued by city police last month, has been arrested in northern Ontario. 

Around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, Barrie police announced on social media that Tony Gordon had been arrested and remains in custody pending a bail hearing.

“The arrest of Tony Gordon in northern Ontario should serve as comforting news to our community," said Barrie police communications co-ordinator Peter Leon. "We were deeply concerned for everyone’s safety and took the appropriate measures to keep our citizens safe."

Barrie police had issued the community safety advisory on Aug. 16 regarding the 30-year-old man. Gordon had recently been released from custody after being convicted of crimes such as sexual assault, assault by choking, suffocation or strangulation, break and enter, and trespassing/prowling at night.

Gordon had a long list of conditions upon his release, such as: 

  • Not attending a park, public swimming area, daycare centre, school ground, playground or community centre where persons under the age of 16 years are present or can reasonably be expected to be present
  • Not having any contact, including communicating by any means, with a person who is under the age of 16 years, unless under the supervision of a person whom the court considers appropriate
  • Not seeking or obtaining any employment or volunteer position in a capacity that involves being in a position of trust or authority toward a person under the age of 16 years
  • And not possessing any weapon or anything designed to be used to cause death or injury or to threaten or intimidate any person.

Leon was unable to provide details of Gordon's arrest, except to note that it was a result of an investigation by Ontario Provincial Police.

Autumn Eadie, the OPP's media relations co-ordinator for Northwest Region, confirmed via email that Gordon was arrested on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

"Members of the Sioux Lookout OPP detachment arrested Mr. Gordon in Sioux Lookout without incident on the strength of an outstanding warrant," she said. "The accused is currently being held in custody pending a bail hearing."

Details on what charges Gordon is facing have not been released. 

Sioux Lookout is located about 400 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay.

In Barrie police's safety advisory last month, Leon explained it was the first one the department had issued since he joined the department as a civilian in October 2018. When police receive this kind of information, they have a “duty and an obligation” to let the public know, Leon said at the time. 

"It comes down to public and community safety and that’s what we are entrusted to do every day as the police service with jurisdiction in our community. We will do what is necessary to keep everyone safe,” he told BarrieToday last month.