In the city's latest act of violence, a Toronto man is wanted by police after a random stabbing attack on Yonge Street yesterday. Toronto Police are now seeking the public's help in identifying the suspect who randomly stabbed a man in North York. As of right now, police believe the attack was completely random.
The 32-year-old victim was crossing the street near Yonge and Shepherd around 1:50 PM on January 27th, when the attack occurred. The victim was approached from behind and attacked. He was stabbed in the leg before the suspect ran away.
Fortunately, police do have an image of the attacker to go off of. They have released the image as well as a description of the man in hopes of identifying him. The suspect is described as 5'6" to 5'8" tall, with an olive complexion, and short black hair. He was unshaven at the time of the attack. He can be seen in the image wearing a blue and black rain jacket, dark pants, and light coloured shoes.
While the investigation is just getting underway, at this point in time, there is absolutely nothing to indicate why this stabbing happened or why this victim was targeted.
What's interesting about this particular attack is that violent crimes and assaults usually aren't random. Several previous studies have confirmed that in most cases of violent attacks, the suspects knew the victims.
As for random attacks like this recent stabbing in Toronto, they are known as stranger crimes. An older report from the United States found that only 38% of non-fatal violent crimes, including rape, assault, and robbery were stranger-crimes.
While they are rarer, random attacks and stranger crimes aren't completely unheard of in the city. In fact, there have been a handful of random attacks in the city lately and almost all of them have been stabbings.
For example, just back in November, police were looking for a Toronto man in connection with 35 random attacks, some of which included threatening people with knives. Before that, in September a woman in Toronto was stabbed in the head while walking in North Toronto, but her injuries were not life-threatening. Even as far as a year ago a man was randomly stabbed outside the Toronto Stockyards in another random daytime attack.
Police are now asking anyone with information regarding the latest stabbing at Yonge and Shepherd to contact them at 416-808-3300. You can also contact Crime Stoppers via phone, online, or on their mobile app.