Police hunting for suspect in racist knife-wielding hate crime at TTC subway station
Police are seeking the public's assistance in identifying a suspect wanted in yet another crime on the TTC after a woman was targeted with vile racist language and threatened with a knife, in what is being described as a hate-motivated assault with a weapon investigation.
The incident occurred on Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 4:48 p.m., when a woman riding a southbound subway train from Vaughan Metropolitan Station was approached by a man who engaged her in conversation and made comments directed at the woman's Muslim faith.
Police from 32 Division say the man eventually "became agitated and produced a knife," at which point, the victim fled the train at Wilson station.
The suspect is described as male, approximately 50-60 years old, with a thin build and a long white beard. At the time of the attack, he was wearing layered clothing, including a black hoodie, dark baseball cap, black leather jacket, and green military-style pants, as well as a green backpack.
News Release - Suspected hate-motivated assault with a weapon investigation, Wilson Subway Stationhttps://t.co/jkNdHY2Hn7 pic.twitter.com/fXh96XHks8— Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) March 15, 2023
Police believe the suspect is armed and dangerous, and urge the public not to approach him if seen, and to instead call 9-1-1. Anyone with information about the suspect is urged to contact police or Crime Stoppers.
Investigations like these, where police believe actions were motivated by the suspect's bias, prejudice, or hate, are reviewed by the force's Hate Crime Unit, which provides specialized officers to support investigations.
Such investigations also involve input from the Crown, and suspects who are apprehended, charged, and convicted of an offence investigated as a hate crime may be judged in court with hate treated as an aggravating factor in sentencing.
If deemed applicable, suspects can be charged with hate speech offences at a later date with the Attorney General's consent.
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