Finding Tino: After decades of searching, a sister pays tribute to the brother she never met


“I was right behind him all the time,” she says. “But I could never grasp onto him.”

Crivellaro was just a few months old when she was adopted in 1959, growing up in a large and loving Italian family in Toronto. Her mother ran the household while her father, who spoke little English, held a steady if gruelling job at the Southam printing press on Weston Rd.

“When he was breathing at night, mom could smell the ink,” Crivellaro recalls. “We got the fruits of his labour. He was a wonderful, quiet, gentle man.” He died in 1997.

Crivellaro says the only thing driving her search for her birth family was innate curiosity. At 19, she secretly drove herself to the Catholic Children’s Aid Society on Maitland St.

She remembers feeling excited to learn more about her background, but not anxious: whatever happened, she already had an adoring family. She listened politely to the case worker rattle off nonidentifying information about her birth mother — that she had been Catholic, of Irish and Ukrainian heritage, and liked dancing.

As she got up to leave, the case worker stopped her.

“One more thing,” she said. “You have a brother.”

“I just sat back down,” Crivellaro says. “That was the biggest shocker.”

But it wasn’t until 1995 that the children’s aid society connected Crivellaro to her birth mother, Janet, who had given birth to Tino at 17 and to Crivellaro 16 months later. By then, a tumultuous relationship with Tino and Crivellaro’s father was collapsing. While pregnant, she decided to give Crivellaro up for adoption.

Before she did, she named her Tina — hoping it might provide her daughter a clue to one day find her brother. Crivellaro’s family later named her Joanne.

Tino remained with his birth family, first with his uncle and later with his father, who declined to speak to the Star when reached by phone. Tino’s childhood, according to family and an ex-wife tracked down by Crivellaro, was an unhappy and difficult one.

“He had always said, why did I get this life,” Crivellaro says they told her.

At 21, Crivellaro learned, Tino left home for the United States and from there, his life moved increasingly off grid. The only trail Crivellaro could follow was a sprinkling of arrest warrants for minor offences. A search of U.S. public records places Tino in Texas and Florida; in a homeless shelter in Utah; a trailer park in Las Vegas; of no fixed address in North Carolina.

That knowledge changed nothing for Crivellaro.

“So what if he was a drifter,” she says. “He was a human being.”

As she searched, she pieced together a picture of a “wonderful, kind” person who went to church regularly and loved helping the elderly.

One of the few traces of Tino is a 2005 USA Today article that describes him as a “thin but muscular man with a bushy moustache and calloused palms” who hitchhiked for nine days to do construction work in storm-swept Louisiana, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Crivellaro tracked down the contractor who hired him.

“He came, he helped, and he left,” the contractor told her. “Let me tell you, he was a hell of a guy. He was honest, he just wanted to get work.”

Around the same time, Crivellaro also found some Berlingieris on Facebook, leading her to Tino’s uncle Enzo, who had briefly taken care of him as a child. The family had strained relations with Crivellaro’s birth father, but had never given up looking for Tino — or their long-lost niece.

“He was at the end of the street in his scooter waiting for me to come around the corner,” says Crivellaro of the first time she met Enzo.

The family “just wanted crumbs, whatever we could have,” of Tino, Crivellaro says.

Enzo and his family saw Tino in 1995, when he had briefly returned to Canada to get dental work done. On the trip, he gave his Aunt Nina a gold bracelet with his name engraved on it and asked her to keep it for him until he came home again.

He never did.

In 2013, Tino’s arrest records suddenly vanished online and a scant obituary popped up on a website in Nevada.

Unsure the information was accurate, his uncle’s family went looking for his death certificate. The documents they found showed Tino died a ward of the state in Pittsfield, Mass., that year on May 27 of respiratory arrest and renal failure. He was 55.

Crivellaro called the funeral home, desperate for anything her brother may have left behind.

“They said, ‘he was just a street guy,’ ” she recalls. “I said, ‘you know what, he had a loving family in Canada.’”

“I just felt heartbroken because I never got to meet him.”

The family didn’t tell Enzo, who died in 2014, about Tino’s death.

“It would have just broke his heart,” says Crivellaro.

An adopted child’s search for their birth family can be a “can of worms,” Crivellaro says, a journey that can be many times diverted and cut short by dead ends. Her own journey has left her marvelling at her good fortune at being placed in a warm and stable home.

“I got really lucky. Tino not so much,” she says. “I had more guidance. I had a lot more love.”

She finds herself wondering what the scanty details she’s learned about Tino mean, like the barbed wire he had tattooed around his wrists.

“Was he in prison, or was he in prison,” she says. “Is that how he felt?”

But the ties forged with Tino’s family have also been a joyful novelty.

“I look at my husband and he has five sisters and a brother,” Crivellaro says. “I always say, ‘look at you guys, your feet are all the same.’ It’s so interesting to me because I’ve never had that.”

Until now.

“When we get together and start talking, we start saying the same things,” she says of the Berlingieris. She keeps in regular contact with her “salt of the earth” four cousins and aunt, who gave her Tino’s gold bracelet to remember him by.

“Just the other night I was over and I’m staring at (my cousin) saying, ‘you have the same teeth as me!’ ”

Crivellaro also stays in touch with Janet, who she says has “always been wonderful” to her and supportive of her adoptive family.

“She’s always said, ‘your mother is your mother.’ ”

For years, Crivellaro kept this new layer of her life from her parents, not wanting them to feel that she loved them “any less by doing this.”

But when her mother died earlier this year, the time seemed right for a more public homage to Tino.

Crivellaro’s birth family called the funeral home in Pittsfield and found that, by chance, his ashes were still there — even though they are usually only kept for a year when unclaimed by loved ones.

This fall, the family repatriated them to Canada and buried them in the same plot as Tino’s uncle Enzo at Bathurst St. and Finch Ave.

“We got a beautiful urn,” Crivellaro says. “There’s a beautiful picture of him when he was 21, the year he started looking for me.”

It’s the same photo used in Tino’s full obituary, finally published this year to pay tribute to a “kind and spiritual man.”

“Tino, you talked about one day finding your sister Joanne and although you never got to meet her, she found us and so began a beautiful connection,” the obituary reads.

“Life came around full circle.”

Sara Mojtehedzadeh is a Toronto-based reporter covering labour issues. Follow her on Twitter: @saramojtehedz


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Brother, sister from Fort Qu’Appelle, Sask. win $1 million with lottery ticket


Saskatchewan Lotteries says Fort Qu’Appelle siblings won $1 million on the Jan. 11 Western Max draw.

Michele Hahn and her brother Gerhard Hahn plan to share the winnings with family.

Record 15 Saskatchewan million-dollar lottery wins in 2018

“We both decided a long time ago that if we ever won the lottery, a lot of people would benefit from the win,” Gerhard said in a press release.

“It’s really nice that we’re able to make things easier for everyone.”

Kindersley man takes trip to Hawaii to clear head after $1M Lotto Max win

Michele bought the winning ticket at the Pharmasave on Broadway Street in Fort Qu’Appelle.

The Hahn siblings’ lucky numbers were 2, 25, 34, 36, 37, 46, and 49.

Fort Qu’Appelle is around 60 kilometres northeast of Regina.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Brother of Canadian suspected in Kenya terrorist attack convinced he is innocent


The brother of a Canadian man accused of being a part of a terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya says that he is convinced his brother is innocent and will be hiring a lawyer to defend his name.

Canadian national among accused in terror attack that killed 21 at Nairobi hotel

Abdihakim Guleid is one of six people suspected of aiding and abetting the attack on the dusitD2 hotel complex on Tuesday that resulted in 21 people dead. The attack involved gunmen storming the complex and opening fire, as well as a suicide bomber.

Al-Shabab, a terrorist group linked to al-Qaida and based in neighbouring Somalia, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Abdihakim appeared in court with five other suspects on Wednesday and will be held for 30 days while authorities investigate the attack. Prosecutors said they are pursuing more suspects in and outside of Kenya.

WATCH: Toronto man arrested in connection with Kenyan terror attack

Since the attack, Global News has learnt more about Abdihakim.

According to his driver’s licence, he is 46 years old and has lived in Etobicoke, a neighbourhood in west Toronto, as recently as 2017, when his licence was last issued.

His sister-in-law confirmed to Global News that he lived in Etobicoke at her address. There is currently a note on her address reading “My uncle did nothing.”

WATCH: Five suspects appear in Kenyan court in connection with deadly hotel attack

Abdul Guleid, Abdihakim’s brother, says that Abdihakim went to Kenya in December to bring back his family. He was a truck driver for Purolator while in Canada.

He says that he is “100 per cent” convinced that his brother is innocent, but he hasn’t heard from him yet.

“We’re going to hire a lawyer and prove he is innocent,” he said. “He is a normal person, like any other person, good family man. He has no appetite or nothing to do with such a crime, I am 100 per cent sure.”

WATCH: Canadian national among accused in terror attack that killed 21 at Nairobi hotel

Abdul said he is not worried and is “sure” they will clear his name. “I have no fear at all,” he said.

Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale said Canada condemns the attack and Canadian officials are in touch with Kenyan authorities.

“We condemn the horrific attack that was so costly in terms of human lives,” he said. “Our consular and diplomatic offices are in touch with Kenyan authorities to gather as much information as we possibly can.”

Global Affairs Canada said consular services are being provided to Abdihakim’s family.

-With files from Kamil Karamali and Jamie Mauracher

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Officer shot in Niagara had ‘bad blood with the world,’ brother says


A man whose trigger rage is described as a “red mist”.

Who once punched a sibling in the face so hard that the youth was knocked out cold, according to his brother.

Who began using steroids as a teenager — synthetic drugs linked to aggression and uncontrollable wrath, his brother said.

Who strikes fear in the heart of family members.

Father of 18-year-old triplets who must now come to grips with the fact their police officer dad has been shot full of bullets — at least five, his life saved by a Kevlar vest.

Const. Nathan Parker, a veteran with 28 years on the force, was the “victim” in Thursday’s cop-on-cop shooting between officers with the Niagara Regional Police Service.

Det.-Sgt. Shane Donovan, identified as the cop who fired his police-issue gun, has been designated the only “subject officer” by the Special Investigations Unit, arising from a violent confrontation, purportedly a fist fight, during what should have been a routine followup — reconstructing the scene — of an impaired driving collision 17 days earlier, down a rural road about 22 kilometres south of St. Catharines.

“Nathan Parker is no innocent person,” his brother Phillip Parker told the Star on Sunday. “I can tell you … that if he got shot, it’s because he made the other person fear for his life. He’s a frightening person.”

In a phone interview and email communications, Phillip Parker recounted a lifetime of bullying, threats and physical violence at the hands of his three-years-older brother, leading ultimately to complete estrangement in 2012. “I won’t let him anywhere near me and, more importantly, I won’t let him anywhere near my daughter.”

Philip Parker writes: “As a family member, I am supposed to be shocked and filled with emotion, but my first reaction is, ‘What took so long?’

“My brother is a violent man. Niagara should have fired him years ago. Maybe the other officer will face real consequences. Then again, maybe he was defending himself from my brother and his uncontrollable rage. I was on the receiving end of that rage while growing up, so my assumption leans toward self-defence.”

One of the final episodes in which the brothers had contact was when Philip Parker’s ex-wife tried to arrange a get-together with their kids. Nathan Parker responded with increasingly hostile emails accusing his sister-in-law of maintaining a friendship with his own “f—ing” ex-wife. The Star has seen some of those emails.

“I’m the one who deserves an apology and bring up my job again Phillip oh ya … you don’t have one right. Have a nice life … because obviously you think more of someone who abandoned me because she listened to other people … siding with people outside your family that’s integrity is it …”

Nathan Parker accused his ex’s sister of “badmouthing” him around Niagara region, “which even interfered with my job.”

Phillip Parker countered: “Is your reaction to rage until you suffer an aneurysm? Anger hurts only you and the kids … Do not forget, I grew up with your bullying, so I do possess some insight. Bellowing and impulsive aggression mark your pattern of behaviour. Roaring and screaming works for drill instructors, but it alienates and terrifies your family.”

To the Star, Phillip expressed regret that he hadn’t brought his concerns about his brother’s anger management issues to the police department. But Niagara Regional has been well aware of Nathan Parker’s history, which includes four disciplinary hearings involving aggressive behaviour and unreasonable use of force. In all cases he was either convicted by a tribunal or pleaded guilty. Collectively, the constable has been docked 226 hours pay since 2012. At one point, he was also ordered to take retraining and anger management counselling.

Phillip Parker suggests “it is less expensive to set legal precedent and fight the police union than it is to keep Nathan Parker on the payroll. That is my ignorance, suspicious opinion, since I have no law enforcement experience. But how else can someone explain my brother not getting fired after (a) cyclist was picked up and thrown to the pavement on his bike, with his feet still clipped into the pedals? Appalling and self-evident. Niagara Regional Police is in dire need of fresh leadership.”

In fact, while this is believed to be the first allegedly deliberate cop-on-cop shooting, possibly in the entire country, a Niagara Regional officer was killed by a fellow cop during training at the police firing range in 1993. And last year, a constable pleaded guilty to pointing an unloaded police rifle at a fellow officer’s chest in their detachment in what was apparently a jest. She pleaded guilty and was given an absolute discharge.

Nathan Parker is reported in “stable” condition in hospital. The Toronto Sun’s Sam Pazzano has reported that the officer who fired emptied most of his 15-bullet magazine at his fellow-cop during the “altercation,” as described by the SIU, and that Parker had a portion of his nose blown off.

The SIU has designated 13 cops (including Parker) as witness officers, which, as an aside, begs the question: Why was there practically an entire platoon at the scene?

Two firearms, belonging to Parker and Donovan, were retrieved by SIU investigators. As of Sunday, no charges had been laid.

But Phillip Parker asks a crucial question: Why was Parker, given his troubling history, still a cop, authorized to carry a weapon?

In Ontario, under the Police Services Act, tribunals can be held at the behest of a police chief but the chief cannot unilaterally dismiss an officer unless he or she has been convicted of a criminal offence.

“The chief is removed from the hearing to make it fair and impartial,” explains Cliff Priest, president of the Niagara Regional Police Association. “The chief has to follow the Police Services Act, which means there has to be a hearing. The tribunal decides on the resolution. At times, it can result in dismissal and (the punishment) can be accumulative.”

Yet the Act itself is deeply flawed, says Alok Mukherjee, former chair of the Toronto police board.

“A police chief can recommend dismissal to the board, based on severity of the offence (under the PSA). The problem is that doesn’t happen as frequently as one would hope.’’

One reason for that is because hearings are conducted by senior officers — who aren’t trained judges or lawyers — from within the same police force of the defendant. While there are distinct “principles” to ascertain guilt and consequences, tribunal officiators tend to “apply low standards,” says Mukherjee.

Changing the Police Act to address that concern “has been a topic of conversation”, Mukherjee continues. “This system of imposing discipline is so out of date and so difficult to apply that it needs to be changed. It is a very unsatisfactory system.”

Mukherjee further asserts that the SIU — which investigates all incidents involving police that result in death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault — “tends to frame its investigations too narrowly.

“The SIU does have the ability to cast its net wide, take a broader view in justice oversight, but it doesn’t do that.”

Mukherjee can’t speak specifically to this cop-on-cop shooting. But he echoes the concern of Phillip Parker. “If there was a history with this officer, why was he able to get away with it for so long?”

Phillip Parker doesn’t much care what happens to his brother now. “My brother had bad blood with the world.

“You report that monster was in critical condition. I feel concern for his three kids.”

Rosie DiManno is a columnist based in Toronto covering sports and current affairs. Follow her on Twitter: @rdimanno


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comment ne pas trop souffrir de Big Brother


DROIT DE L’USAGER – par Me Rémy Josseaume, avocat à la Cour, président de l’Automobile-Club des avocats.

La Mairie de Paris vient d’inaugurer son nouveau centre de vidéo-verbalisation relié à 1 200 caméras, afin de traquer les comportements répréhensibles des conducteurs de voitures et de deux-roues parisiens. Initialement installées pour notre sécurité quotidienne, les caméras de surveillance deviennent un nouveau mode de constatation et de verbalisation sans interception. Si rien ne l’arrête, elle en passe de se généraliser en milieu urbain.

1. Au total, une quinzaine d’infractions peuvent être relevées par Big Brother: inobservation d’un feu rouge, circulation sur voie réservée (bus), stationnements interdits ou en double file, circulation en sens interdit, usage du téléphone au volant, défaut de port du casque pour les deux roues, défaut d’assurance de véhicule, franchissement de ligne continue, refus de priorité aux piétons (moins 6 points sur le permis), empiétement sur le sas vélo, non-port de la ceinture de sécurité, blocage d’un carrefour, excès de vitesse.

2. En pratique, c’est le titulaire de la carte grise du véhicule pris en faute qui reçoit par la suite à son domicile l’avis de contravention. Pour les infractions au stationnement gênant, il peut échapper à sa responsabilité en dénonçant le conducteur fautif. À défaut, il doit payer l’amende.

3. Pour toutes les autres infractions relevées, et à moins qu’il ne reconnaisse expressément la contravention en payant l’amende, ou en avouant l’avoir commise, le titulaire de la carte grise ne peut en aucun cas être pénalement condamné. Il ne peut donc pas perdre de points.

4. En niant avoir commis les faits, l’usager n’est que redevable du paiement de l’amende au titre de sa responsabilité pécuniaire (art. 121-2 et 121-3 du Code de la route). S’il prouve qu’il n’était pas au volant ce jour-là, il n’est redevable d’aucune amende.

5. Conclusion: la vidéo-verbalisation est certes légale, mais elle n’en demeure pas moins assez facilement contestable.


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