The Ontario father of the three young children killed by drunk driver Marco Muzzo was arrested and Tasered when officers were called to his home the day before his death by suicide, Peel police confirm.
Peel police were called to Edward Lake’s Brampton address on June 19 — Father’s Day — to “investigate an altercation at the home,” spokesperson Const. Sarah Patten confirmed in an email to the Star.
During the call, “an altercation occurred between Mr. Lake and the officers, which resulted in a Taser being deployed.” Lake was charged with one count of assault and released into the custody of paramedics who transported him to the hospital, where he was assessed and later released, Patten said.
Lake — whose children Daniel, 9, Harry, 5, and Milly, 2, were killed with their grandfather Gary Neville seven years earlier — was found dead the next morning.
“We are aware of and saddened by Mr. Lake’s tragic death, as well as the tragic circumstances that this family has faced,” Patten said.
In court and to the media, Lake had spoken at length about the pain of losing his children.
“We close our eyes and they’re all we see,” he told reporters in 2015. “This is a nightmare that will never go away.”
Muzzo was sentenced in 2016 to 10 years in prison for blowing through a stop sign and hitting the Neville-Lakes’ vehicle while impaired from a weekend bachelor party in Miami. The children’s grandmother and great-grandmother were also badly injured.
The tragedy garnered nationwide media attention and Muzzo’s sentence was at the time the longest ever imposed for a first-time offender in a drunk driving case.
Lake described the impact of Muzzo’s actions at a February 2021 parole hearing. “Marco Michael Muzzo’s bad decisions have severely impacted my life,” he said. “I miss hugging my children, and I miss hearing their laughter and voices in our family home,” he said, describing suffering nightmares and severe anxiety.
“It makes me want to cry and cry … Without my children. I feel like an empty shell.”
Muzzo was granted full parole following that hearing. He remains on parole.
According to Peel police, the call to Lake’s home was not “deemed an appropriate call” to deploy either a Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team or a Crisis Outreach and Support Team. Both teams are meant to assist in cases involving persons experiencing mental health crises.
Nonetheless, officers were made aware of Lake’s history and previous interactions with police, Patten said.
“We have attended Mr. Lake’s residence previously, however for privacy reasons, we are not in a position to share those details,” she said.
According to Peel police, officers had no further interaction with Lake after he was transported to the hospital.
Late Monday evening, Lake’s wife Jennifer Neville-Lake posted a message on social media: “The eyes he shared with Harry are forever closed Daniel’s curls will never shine in the sunlight again I will never see Milly’s shy smile creep across his lips anymore. My children’s father, Edward Lake, has joined our kids so they can play together, forever. Mahal kita, Edward.”
The grief of losing a child to a drunk driving incident is something that families never get over, said Carolyn Swinson, director of victim support with the Toronto chapter of MADD Canada.
If you are thinking of suicide or know someone who is, there is help. Resources are available online at crisisservicescanada.ca or you can connect to the national suicide prevention helpline at 1-833-456-4566, or the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.
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Father of kids killed by drunk driver Marco Muzzo was Tasered and arrested hours before his death by suicide