11 charged in hate-motivated investigation after vandalism at Toronto Indigo

Toronto police have charged 11 people in a hate-motivated mischief investigation after the Indigo store at Bay Street and Bloor Street West was vandalized with red paint and posters two weeks ago.

It’s alleged that a group of suspects approached the bookstore at the corner of Bay Street and Bloor Street West and proceeded to glue posters to the doors and windows of the business.

Police said the suspects then poured red paint on the windows and sidewalk. No injuries were reported.

On the day of the incident, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) said the Indigo was found “vandalized with red paint and posters plastered on its front windows wrongfully accusing its Jewish founder and CEO, Heather Reisman, of ‘Funding Genocide.'”

On Nov. 14, police charged 41-year-old Nisha Toomey of Toronto with mischief over $5,000. She’s expected to appear in court on Jan. 8, 2024.

Various search warrants were executed by members of Toronto’s hate crime unit at residences and in vehicles. On Wednesday, 10 additional arrests were made.

10 people identified in hate-motivated mischief

  • Sharmeen Khan, 45, of Toronto
  • MacDonald Scott, 56, of Toronto
  • Mercedes Lee, 44, of Toronto
  • Suzanne Narain, 38, of Toronto
  • Lesley Wood, 56, of Toronto
  • Sarom Rho, 29, of Toronto
  • Ian Doty, 43, of Toronto
  • Stuart Schussler, 39, of Toronto
  • Karl Sebastian Gardner, 33, of Toronto
  • Clement Cheng, 26, of Toronto

The 10 people facing charges include mischief over $5,000 and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

Police said the investigation remains ongoing and is being treated as a suspected hate-motivated offence.

Speaking earlier today, Toronto police chief Myron Demkiw said the city is seeing an alarming spike in antisemitic and Islamophobic hate crimes amid the latest Israel-Hamas war.

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