Man charged after yelling slurs, moving to assault people outside Toronto mosque: police

Toronto police have boosted their hate crime unit and launched an online tool for the public to report hateful graffiti to respond to the rapid rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia. Tina Yazdani reports.

A 28-year-old Toronto man is facing several charges in connection with what police described as hate-motivated assaults outside a downtown mosque and at two other downtown locations.

According to a statement issued by Toronto police investigators Saturday evening, officers were called to the Toronto Islamic Centre (TIC) near Yonge Street and Davenport Road at around 6:40 a.m.

Police said the suspect became confrontational towards several victims outside the mosque, yelling derogatory slurs and throwing a rock. The suspect then “became assaultive” toward the victims, using a bike chain on one of the victims and leaving them with minor physical injuries.

A statement issued by the Toronto Islamic Centre shared by the National Council for Canadian Muslims (NCCM) on X, formerly Twitter, said a man tried to vandalize the centre and that Islamophobic slurs and threats were yelled.

“This is not the first time TIC has faced Islamophobia. We previously received threats that someone was coming to commit another Christchurch attack at our centre,” the TIC statement said in part.

“We want to be clear: We will not be intimidated.

“While our first priority is to ensure the ongoing safety of worshippers, we need to see long-term change to fight all forms of hate.”

The TIC message encouraged worshippers to attend prayers and to “take a stand” against all hatred, Islamophobia and antisemitism.

The NCCM social media post said much of what happened was recorded on video and that the video was turned over to Toronto police officers.

RELATED: Toronto seeing rise in antisemitic and Islamophobic hate crimes amid Israel-Hamas war, police chief says

Meanwhile, Toronto police officers said the accused in Saturday’s incident has been charged in connection with two incidents Wednesday morning.

Investigators said the first incident that day happened before 4:30 a.m. when the victim driving a cab near Yonge and Front streets asked the suspect if he needed a ride. Officers said the suspect asked the victim if he was Muslim before spraying his face with an unknown substance.

Nearly three-and-a-half hours later, investigators said officers were called after a woman wearing a hijab walking on a trail near Spadina Avenue and Fort York Boulevard was approached by the suspect. They said the accused made derogatory statements before spraying the victim’s face with an unknown substance. The suspect took off before the victim was taken to hospital to be treated for minor physical injuries.

The accused, identified by officers as Chandler Marshall, has been charged with four counts of assault with a weapon, two counts of assault, two counts of carrying a concealed weapon, two counts of mischief, two counts of administering a noxious substance, two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon, two counts of weapons dangerous, and uttering threats.

The suspect is scheduled to appear in a Toronto bail court Monday morning.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today