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Arrest puts spotlight on security ahead of G-20 summit in Toronto

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Gas cans, guns in car near G-20
  • NEW: Suspect in weapons incident charged, due to appear in court Friday
  • Incident puts focus on security as leaders begin arriving
  • Items found in car included pellet guns, a cross bow and a chainsaw
  • No specific signs incident is linked to G-20 summit

Toronto, Ontario (CNN) -- The spotlight is on security -- as well as economic recovery plans -- as leaders from the world's biggest economies gather in Toronto for a pair of summits this weekend.

Leaders have begun arriving for the G-8 summit, which begins Friday, followed by the G-20 summit this weekend.

Security, already a major concern, was thrown into greater focus Thursday when a man with five cans of gas and an array of weapons in his car was arrested near the G-20 site, officials said.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesman Sgt. Marc LaPorte said the 53-year-old driver had pellet guns, a crossbow, gas tanks and chemical products in his car, and couldn't explain why those items were there.


He was identified by police as Gary McCullough of Whitby, Ontario. Police said McCullough was charged with one count of possessing dangerous weapons -- an offense with a maximum sentence of 10 years. He's expected to appear in court Friday.

Despite the incident's proximity to the site of the G-20 summit, there are no specific signs it's linked to the meeting, said Constable Samantha Nulle of Peel Regional Police.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, local police departments and the Canadian Military have formed an Integrated Security Unit (ISU) to deal with G-20 security, like they did earlier this year for the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

About 20,000 ISU personnel and security guards are providing security, with the help of fencing and cameras.

G-20 countries account for 80 percent of world trade and two-thirds of the world's population. The G-8 is made up of the United States, Canada, Russia, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy.

When talks get under way, leaders will be hashing out economic recovery plans and some differences on how to proceed. Among the issues: how drastically to cut budget deficits, possibly risking recession, and global financial reform.

The United States has been urging other countries not to pull back on stimulus plans too quickly. Britain, in contrast, has recently joined other European countries in announcing drastic budget cuts.

The sessions will offer a first appearance on the world stage for British Prime Minister David Cameron and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Both leaders arrived in Toronto on Thursday. Other leaders are arriving Friday.

In Thursday's weapons incident, Nulle said an officer pulled over a suspicious vehicle and discovered dangerous materials in the car. Police immediately sealed off the surrounding area, Nulle said.

Police told CNN that another person with weapons and explosives had been taken to court Wednesday, but privacy laws prevented them from sharing more details.

CNN's Jeanne Meserve and Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.