Agitated Toronto mayor confronts reporter outside home

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford called the police Wednesday after an altercation near his property with Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale.

The Star published a web story written by Dale on Wednesday evening that said Ford has applied to purchase a parcel of wooded land adjacent to the backyard of his Etobicoke house. The parcel of land belongs to the Toronto Conservation Authority.

The Star reports that Ford filed the request as a private citizen and for the purpose of installing an upgraded security fence on his property.

Dale said he went out to see the land on Wednesday evening.

Ford said a neighbour alerted him to Dale's presence, which prompted Ford to go to the back of the house and confront him.

“Enough is enough. I have to protect my family," an upset Ford said. "It was unbelievable what the Star was doing. I’m not going to put up with it. If I have to press charges I will.”

Ford said Dale was taking pictures over the back of his fence. Star spokesman Bob Hepburn said Dale didn't go into Ford's yard and remained on public property throughout the incident.

In an online piece explaining his version of events, Dale denies that he stepped on private property but was instead on public land and conducting research for his story.

"I’m still not sure if the parcel I was standing on is the parcel Ford is looking to acquire, but I can say this with certainty: I never came close to entering his backyard," Dale wrote in the Star.

Dale wrote that Ford walked around to the back of the house, confronted him and was "extremely agitated."

"At some point, perhaps 10 or 15 seconds into the encounter, he cocked his fist near his head and began charging at me at a full run," Dale wrote. "I began pleading with him, as loud as I could, with my hands up, for him to stop."

In his version of events, Dale wrote that Ford stopped moving toward him at a distance of about two metres.

Dale said Ford insisted that he drop the phone, which Dale said he eventually did do. Dale said he then returned to his car and left.

Ford and the Star had a tense relationship even prior to Wednesday's incident. Upset over coverage during the 2010 mayoralty campaign, Ford has refused to grant interviews to the newspaper.

Ford has been the subject of death threats, and his sister’s former boyfriend was charged with making death threats against the mayor earlier this year.

After that incident, the mayor's brother Coun. Doug Ford called for more security around his house.

Last fall, police were called to Ford's home after a crew from the CBC comedy show This Hour Has 22 Minutes went to his house for the purpose of conducting a surprise interview.