Toronto van rampage highlights importance of street safety

WASHINGTON -- New details are coming to light about the suspect in Monday's deadly van rampage in Toronto. Alek Minassian posted a cryptic message on Facebook just before the attack, praising an American mass murderer.

Minassian was arrested without incident after pointing what turned out to be a cellphone at an officer. He now faces 10 counts of murder.

Law enforcement officials have been warning of vehicle attacks for several years. That's why security changes have been made in cities across the U.S. In Washington, D.C., barriers prevent vehicles from jumping the curb into pedestrians. They're strong enough to stop a truck, and most public buildings and many tourist destinations in Washington have them.

The goal is to prevent what happened in Toronto and a repeat of what happened last October in New York City. On Halloween, a man drove a truck down the bike path in lower Manhattan killing eight people. In the aftermath of that attack, Mayor Bill de Blasio called for spending $50 million to install 1,500 additional barriers.

In Las Vegas, city leaders have called for the installation of hundreds of additional barriers between the streets and sidewalks along the strip. This has become standard operating procedure in major cities across the country. Washington D.C., for example, has instituted new parking restrictions to limit the number of cars on the streets during some major events.

But the reality is, you cannot protect every block in every city. Law enforcement officials will say it also takes a mix of intelligence gathering and public awareness to keep the public safe.