Man, two teens charged after threats made against Jewish high school students

Two teens and a man in his 20s are facing charges as part of a hate-crime investigation after threats were directed towards a Jewish high school in North York on Thursday.

Police were called to the Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto on Wilmington Avenue just after 12:30 p.m. after reports circulated online regarding threats.

Investigators say three males were at the school and were told by security to leave the property. As they were leaving, they passed a group of Jewish students and one of the suspects allegedly made threatening remarks.

Officers were able to track the three individuals down and arrested them a short time later.

All three – 20-year-old Enes Boydak of Toronto, a 17-year-old male and a 14-year-old male – have been charged with uttering threats/property damages, uttering threats/death of bodily harm, intimidation by threats of violence and mischief interfere with enjoyment of property.

The 17-year-old and 14-year-old cannot be named under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Police add that the hate crime unit is conducting its own investigation into the incident and if there sufficient evidence that the crime committed was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate and the individual is convicted of the offence, a judge can take into consideration hate as an aggravating factor when imposing a sentence.

“Wilful promotion of hatred and advocating genocide are hate propaganda (hate speech) offences which require the Attorney General’s consent. Members of the Hate Crime Unit will provide assistance and support to the divisional investigators in seeking the Attorney General’s consent to lay these charges, if applicable. These charges are often laid at a later time,” Toronto police said in a statement on Friday.

Police forces across the GTA have increased patrols around Jewish communities as well as cultural centres, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship.

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