Toronto man arrested following anti-Semitic assaults

32-year-old facing new assault charges after allegedly attacking people he perceived as Jewish in Toronto.

Elad Benari ,

Toronto
Toronto
iStock

A 32-year-old man is facing new assault charges after allegedly attacking people he perceived as Jewish for at least the third time in the past few months, B’nai Brith Canada said in a statement on Monday.

The man, Michael Park, was arrested Sunday after assaulting a woman at Toronto's Lawrence subway station on Friday. According to the victim, Park asked her multiple times if she were a Jew, then performed a Nazi salute and attacked her when she did not respond.

Park first burst onto the scene in July, when he allegedly threw an object at a person in a downtown park while displaying a swastika on his chest. Four days later, he was arrested again after he was accused of punching a man who tried to intervene as Park shouted anti-Semitic slurs at a group of women in the Yonge-St. Clair area. He was charged with assault and assault with a weapon in relation to these incidents.

Toward the end of July, Park was arrested yet again, this time due to issues involving his surety from his first arrest.

“Stronger judicial measures are needed to keep the Jewish community safe, especially during the High Holidays,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “We thank Toronto Police for their diligence in re-apprehending the accused, but the revolving door bail system must end.

“There is a strong public interest in denying bail to someone who repeatedly engages in unprovoked hate-motivated assaults,” he added.

B’nai Brith Canada has documented a surge in anti-Semitism in Toronto in recent months.

In May, the organization reported that for the third week in a row, anti-Semitism and support for terrorism were on display at a massive protest in downtown Toronto.

A week earlier, at another downtown Toronto protest, attendees threatened Jews by recalling the Battle of Khaybar, in which the ancient Jewish community of Arabia was killed or expelled.

Also in May, a Jewish-owned business in the Kensington Market area was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti which included references to gas chambers.

Last month, the Beth Sholom Synagogue in Toronto was defaced with a swastika and other graffiti.

According to the TPS 2020 Annual Hate Crime Statistical Report, Jews were the most targeted group for hate crimes in Toronto last year at 34% of the total, despite making up a tiny fraction of the city's population. Jews have been among the most targeted groups in the city for many years counting.



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