A woman and two young children are in hospital after plunging from a fourth-floor apartment balcony in Toronto's east end.
A tearful 27-year-old man appeared in court on Sunday. Jerome Stephenson has been charged with attempted murder and other offences, police said.
A large hole was left in one of the apartment’s windows. Matt Llewellyn/CBC
Police went to the highrise apartment building at 550 Scarborough Golf Club Rd. around 4:30 p.m. Saturday after a report of trouble.
They found the girls — two years old and eight months old — conscious but in serious condition. The girls were taken to Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, where by Sunday their condition had improved to fair. Doctors are hopeful both will survive, police said.
The woman, who was taken to Sunnybrook hospital, also suffered serious injuries but they were not considered life-threatening.
Thrown from balcony
Witnesses told CBC News the two girls were thrown off the balcony, and the woman, likely their mother, fell next.
A man then jumped but did not appear injured. When he tried to get up, he was was tackled and held by other residents, witnesses said. He later allegedly tried to grab the gun of a police officer trying to arrest him.
"I just walked up and then I found out what happened,” neighbour Chrystal Jeffrey said. “And I was very stunned because I know the people, and it's very sad. It's just disgusting what happened."
Others reported seeing smashed glass on the balcony and a large hole in one of the apartment’s windows.
Charges against the man include three counts of attempted murder, three counts of aggravated assault, one count of attempting to disarm police and two counts of resisting arrest. He is to return on court on Thursday.