high park attack

Questions swirl surrounding alleged High Park attack

In Toronto, it's not unusual for stories to blow up after getting shared on Facebook groups such as Bunz Trading Zone and its affiliated forums. The latest one, however, involves an alleged attack that happened in the High Park area this past weekend.

On October 8, Trung Nguyen posted to Facebook that he and his partner Tyler were attacked by a stranger while walking home from a Thanksgiving dinner. Nguyen notes he and his partner were heckled when they moved passed a group sitting on a patio.

"It was around 2 am as we walked past a patio where a group of people made some comments at us," writes Nguyen.

"Realizing they were not interested in friendly conversation, we walk away. One of them follows us to continue his heckling. We are only a few blocks from home (High Park) so we try to avoid confrontation but he begins to physically assault us when we ignore him. Tyler endures a sucker punch to the face and I sustain injuries to my head and knee. I black out and begin seizuring from my injuries."

high park attack

Nguyen's post, which included graphic images, received nearly 10,000 likes and was shared more than 7,000 times. In it, he claimed the police didn't believe his and his partner's story and discouraged them from pursuing it further.

Yesterday, City News released an article saying that the incident may not have been as clear cut. The media outlet quoted an alleged witness named Katie, a server at the The Wicket.

"Basically, as my friends and I were standing on the sidewalk having a cigarette, three guys ran past us and smacked us on the ass," Katie told City News. "They all seemed to be laughing and having a good time. We assumed they were together." They continued running, she said, and attempted to climb a chain fence when one of them fell.

Today, Nguyen posted an update to Facebook thanking friends, family and commenters for their support as well as reiterating his story.

"My intention was simple: we were attacked, and I was voicing sadness and frustration for not getting justice or a chance to be heard," he writes about why he posted on Facebook in the first place.

"I felt hopeless and was looking for advice on how to cope with the situation and to understand why our interaction with the police was so disappointing. At that time, the investigation was closed by the police, and I simply wanted to know how I could find my own closure. I've never been in any kind of fight."

"And while getting hurt is traumatic, what stunned me the most was that in a situation where my partner and I were the victims, we were treated with such disregard and disrespect."

While this is a complicated story with many moving parts, including an open police investigation, it points to a commonplace occurrence in Toronto: trial by social media.

From the recent Blue Jays beer can tossing fiasco and La Carnita's offensive Instagram caption, to the recent social media storm surrounding the Painted Lady, it seems like everyone in the city is ready with a hot take, regardless of what the facts might say.


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