Canadian News Oct 22, 2020 3:06 PM EST

Man charged for multiple anti-Semitic incidents in Vaughan, Ontario

Edwards was caught on video yelling antisemitic language at a Jewish man in a vehicle.

Man charged for multiple anti-Semitic incidents in Vaughan, Ontario
Noah David Alter Toronto
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A man is being charged over a series of hate-motivated incidents targeting the Jewish community in Vaughan, Ontario, York Regional Police announced Wednesday. Vaughan has one of the largest Jewish communities in Canada, with over 15 percent of the population adhering to the Jewish faith.

Kurt Edwards, 43, is being charged with seven counts of mischief to property under $5,000, one count of assault, and one count of violating a probation order. He was taken into custody on October 18th.

Edwards was caught on video yelling anti-Semitic language at a Jewish man in a vehicle. He told the man "you're a piece of sh*t, you're Jewish," to which the victim replied "it's Canada."

Antisemetism is real. Minutes before the Jewish New Year began, my father and I were assaulted by the guy in this video outside the Sephardic Kehila Centre at Bathurst and Steeles. Unprovoked, this antisemite aggressively approached us and repeatedly yelled, “You fucking Jews”, among various antisemitic tropes. In this video, I managed to capture the last ten seconds of what was close to a one minute verbal assault (which almost ended with a physical assault) when he reached into the car to hit me. We all need to stand up to this vile hatred in all of its forms. Jews should never be afraid to walk around in their own neighbourhoods. Not in Canada. Not in any country. And not in 2020. Please share this video in the hopes of identifying the individual. York Regional Police Toronto Police Service UJA Federation of Greater Toronto B'nai Brith Canada Toronto Crime Stoppers John Tory FordNation Justin Trudeau

Posted by Avi Benchetrit on Sunday, September 20, 2020

Edwards was later seen vandalizing property on Mullen Drive, only a few blocks north of where the assault took place. The incidents happened shortly before Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest holidays on the Jewish calendar.

The Post Millennial reached out to a man who lives on Mullen Drive. The man wishes to remain anonymous due to fear of further anti-Semitic incidents.

"When I was a kid I would walk around my neighbourhood at night, go to the park," he said. "You often see little kids in the park scateboarding [sic] playing ball hockey. On Saturday’s the park has usually 200-300 people playing outside."

"Literally I would never think anything like that would happen in my area," the man lamented.

In a press release, York Regional Police Chief Jim MacSween thanked the community for helping to identify the suspect and bring him into custody.

“The result of this investigation is a fine example of the community working together with our investigators to tackle hate-motivated crime in our region,” said MacSween. “York Regional Police does not tolerate hate crime in any form and will ensure those individuals who commit these types of crimes are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

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