ttc fire

Toronto chef claims someone tried to light him on fire on the TTC

A Toronto chef claims that another TTC passenger at Castle Frank subway station attempted to light him on fire after shoving him down the stairs and hurling racial slurs at him. 

Sonam Pontsang, a chef at Momo Ghar, told blogTO that he finished his shift around 9 p.m. on Feb. 28 and was heading down the station's stairs when another man approached him. 

"He was coming towards me all aggressive calling me a bunch of names and slurs," Pontsang said. 

He claims that the man attempted to shove him down the stairs, causing him to almost fall. 

"I just thought there is no point arguing with this person so I just stood there, meanwhile he was still yelling at me, and asking me to move and either go downstairs or get out," Pontsang recalled. 

The chef uploaded clips from the whole ordeal on Tik Tok, and the video has amassed over 7,000 likes and 100K views at the time of writing. 

"While yelling he kept opening the zipper of his backpack so I got a little suspicious, I thought he was carrying a weapon," Pontsang told blogTO. 

At one point, he said the man pulled out a lighter from his bag and was trying to "light" him up and "burn" him. 

"I showed him the same energy that he was giving me, he tried to ignore me and go downstairs and at that point I had to chase him out of the subway. It got a little physical, all I wanted was to kick him out of that station before he preys on someone else,"  Pontsang explained. 

According to the chef, the man kept calling him Asian slurs and told him "to go back home." 

In the Tik Tok, Pontsang says, "I can talk positive all day, but reality is the fact, and that shit happened to me, and that shit could happen to anybody. They probably saw an Asian guy and probably thought nothing's gonna happen, just gonna fuck him up, and yell a bunch of racial slurs, but I was cut from a different cloth."

The chef told blogTO that although he reported the incident to the TTC, he was encouraged by the supervisor at the station to "let it go," and he agreed to do so. 

Pontsang's Tik Tok comments were subsequently flooded with words of encouragement, with lots of people commending the chef for "standing up for himself." 

Others pointed out that the incident may have been a result of mental health issues, and that the City needs to do more to support programs and initiatives aimed at addressing such root causes. 

Lead photo by

Sonam Pontsang

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