Toronto restaurant owner says he was physically attacked while waiting for streetcar
A much loved and respected Toronto restaurateur has been left shaken after an he said he was a victim of a hate crime while waiting for the streetcar.
Abel Paez of Classico Macha took to Instagram to share what happened to him on Sunday evening.
"Last night I was attacked," read his Instagram post, with the caption "please share."
Paez told his followers that while waiting for the streetcar at Bathurst and College with his partner and brother-in-law, he was "cowardly attacked" by a man.
"I weigh about 250 lbs and I'm 6 (foot), it takes force to move me. You can only imagine the force this person had to use to tackle me."
Paez then said he confronted the man, who gave him the excuse that the trio were blocking his path.
He told his follower he believed the incident was racially-motivated as he looks "Latino" and alleges the man tackled another Latino pedestrian next.
"The reality is that there's no excuse to go assaulting people on the street. We yelled at each other, he kept on insulting me, I insulted back, I called him out for being racist."
Paez mentioned the man also dumped a drink on him and a scuffle between the two ensued.
"There were some spectators from Sneeky Dee's who started yelling at me to leave him alone, that he wasn't worth it, so this calmed me down," he said.
Eventually the alleged perp left the scene.
The entire situation left Paez feeling angry, unprotected, in danger and full of adrenaline.
"I was a victim of a hate crime. A racist white male decided to assault me, another guy and God knows who else. You could possibly think 'oh, this guy was just pushed' or 'I got bumped.' I felt the same, I felt I was overreacting, but no, I was just waiting for the streetcar," his message read.
Whats even more scary is that Paez works just a couple doors down from the incident took place.
Paez said he called Toronto Police to inform them of the situation but didn't end up filing a report as the officers left him waiting.
"They said some officers were coming, waited for about half an hour, but no showed up. Three hours later I got a call from them asking if I was still at the scene," Paez alleges, but at that point he had already left.
The next day Paez said he went to the hospital for soreness in his back, shoulders and neck.
Two days after the event Paez tells blogTO he's doing good but frustrated about the situation and scared about how it could have escalated.
He confirmed police had created a file about the incident as well and he is waiting to make a statement.
Despite the aftermath, Paez said he's received tons of messages of support - some even from strangers.
"It's nice to know there’s good and supportive people out there still," he said.
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