Suspect Photo Released In TTC Attack On Muslim Woman & Toronto Police Call It A Hate Crime
She was threatened with a knife while on a TTC subway.
The Toronto Police Service (TPS) has released a photo of a suspect they're trying to identify in connection with an alleged hate-motivated attack on a Muslim woman on the TTC.
Shortly before 5 p.m. on March 9, police said a woman riding the subway was approached by a man with a knife who became "agitated," and they believed she was targeted "because of her Muslim faith."
"I was just trying to get to Spadina station to meet with some friends. I never thought something like this could happen on public transit in front of all these people," said the victim of the attack in a statement through the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). "The moment I saw him take out his knife, I ran and ran until I was out of breath, and a stranger helped me. I've never been so afraid in my life."
No injuries were reported in the attack, but it has been described as an assault with a weapon investigation.
Police have released the photo of the suspect they say is "believed to be armed and dangerous" and described him as a man between 50 and 60 years old with a thin build and a long white beard.
The alleged suspect in the assault with a weapon investigation. Toronto Police Service
TPS said the suspect was wearing layered clothing, a black hoodie, dark baseball cap, a black leather jacket, green military-style pants and was seen carrying a green backpack at the time of the incident.
"The assailant asked the victim several questions about Muslims and Islam, asked her hypothetical questions about what she would do if someone hit her head and got away with it, and told her, 'you know what we do with people like you' before unsheathing a large knife he pulled out of his backpack," said the NCCM in a statement, describing how the attack unfolded.
"This is a brazen Islamophobic attack," said Nadia Hasan, the COO of the NCCM. "There is a problem in this country where spaces that most Canadians take for granted simply aren't safe for Muslim women and people of colour."
News of this latest incident on the TTC comes days after police announced they were no longer deploying officers working overtime to patrol the city's transit system.
Toronto police have asked anyone with information on this incident to contact them at 416-808-3200 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477) or at www.222tips.com.
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