A small group of Jewish teenagers was assaulted and robbed in Toronto last night at 8 PM, and police are now searching for the nine teenagers that are allegedly responsible for the incident. According to the news release from the Toronto police, the attack was motivated by religious discrimination. Police have stated that they are investigating the incident as a robbery and hate crime.
Four 17-year-old boys were walking the streets in North York on November 11th. The teenagers were Jewish, which police say was evident by their religious attire. The Toronto police state in the release that "as they passed another group of young persons, who were unknown to them, derogatory comments were made about their religion".
"They were being made fun of based on what they were wearing," said Toronto police spokesperson Katrina Arrogante, CTV News reports. "They were wearing their yamakas on their heads – aside from that I’m not quite sure what their basic outfit was, but that was the comment that was being made to them and that’s when the assault occurred." The victims have stated that they did not know the suspects beforehand.
This exchange then led to two of the four Jewish boys getting physically assaulted. Two victims were punched and kicked by the group of nine teenagers and one even had his sunglasses stolen. They had injuries from the attack, which were reportedly treated at the scene.
1112 14:10 Robb. / Hate Crime Invst., Nine Yng Persons Wntd, Fairhol...athurst St Area https://t.co/1iBgHGYjTS— Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) November 12, 2018
Police have arrested one of the suspects, but are still in search of the other attackers involved. After the incident, the suspects escaped from the scene. The Toronto police have taken to social media to ask the public for help in finding the remaining suspects.
The police have posted about the incident on their Twitter and wrote that nine young persons were wanted. The suspects are described to be in their early teens. Even the Toronto Mayor, John Tory, has shared their Twitter post and urged the public to help.
The Centre of Israel and Jewish Affairs in the Greater Toronto Area has responded to the incident. Noah Shack, the Vice President, said, "It’s very traumatizing, especially for students – younger people, to go through something like this," Michael Mostyn told CP24, according to CTV News. "We need to do better as a society to find real consequences against the purveyor of hatred so that when those consequences are seen hopefully it will stop individuals from picking on others because they are different."
In their news release, the Toronto police is asking anyone with information about the incident to contact them.