Toronto Police arrest

Arrest made after attempted violent incidents at two mosques and mall

The Toronto Police Service has informed the public about an arrest made in connection with an investigation into anti-Islamic hate crimes.

The incidents occurred on April 6, when TPS officers responded to calls over incidents at two Scarborough mosques located in the Lawrence Avenue East and Markham Road, as well as Lawrence Avenue East and Midland Avenue areas.

According to TPS it is alleged that the accused individual operated a dark-coloured vehicle and targeted those attending the mosques. It is alleged that the suspect entered the parking lots with the intent to hit worshippers and damage vehicles. After the incidents at the two mosques, the individual proceeded to Scarborough Town Centre, where they entered the mall and proceeded to harass and threaten multiple customers. During the incident, the suspect is alleged to have shouted derogatory and anti-Islamic comments.

A 28-year-old man has been charged with various offences, including two counts of Dangerous Operation of a Conveyance, two counts of Assault with a Weapon, five counts of Criminal Harassment, Uttering Threats of Bodily Harm, Assault, Indecent Exhibition in Public Place, and Committing an Indecent Act with Intent to Insult/Offend Another.

Additionally, the suspect is facing charges related to a separate incident at a mosque in Markham, for which he was charged by the York Regional Police on April 7, 2023.

The Toronto Police Service and York Regional Police are collaborating on the ongoing investigation. The suspect is in custody in York Region pending a bail hearing.

Authorities have urged anyone with information about the case to come forward by contacting the police at 416-808-3506. Alternatively, individuals can provide anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477) or via their website at www.222tips.com.

According to TPS, with cases involving suspected hate crimes, the divisional investigators will take the lead in the investigation. The Hate Crime Unit will be notified, and specialized officers from that unit will provide support as required.

“If it is alleged a criminal offence was committed (such as assault or mischief) and it is believed to have been motivated by bias, prejudice or hate, the officer-in-charge will consult with the¬†Crown,” stated TPS, in a release. “If a person is charged and convicted of the offence, the Judge will take into consideration hate as an aggravating factor when imposing a sentence.”

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