Police investigate possible hate crime
Four teenagers wearing attire of their religious faith assaulted
Toronto Police Service is investigating an incident under the suspicion that it was a hate crime. Officers responded to a call on Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Avenue West and Bathurst Street area. They reported that four 17-year-old males victims, all Jewish, wearing attire of their religious faith, were approached by another group of nine male teenage suspects, who began making derogatory comments about the victims’ religion. The suspects then began assaulting two of the four victims, stealing a pair of sunglasses and eventually fleeing the scene. When police arrived, they located and arrested one of the suspects. The victims were treated for their wounds at the scene.
The motive for this assault remains unclear, and a full investigation is required before this incident can be deemed as a hate crime.
“It is dependent on what is decided upon in court. If they find that the motive was based on hate, the penalties would come and follow after that,” said Katrina Arrogante, media relations spokesperson for Toronto Police Service. “It is investigated as such right now.”
The 17-year-old suspect who was arrested faces assault and robbery charges.
Police continue to look for the other eight suspects involved in this incident.
The identity of the suspects or the victims cannot be disclosed under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
So far, only one person is held in custody, and although the investigation is still ongoing, a trial date is set for early December.