Investigators with the York Regional Police Hate Crime Unit and the #4 District Criminal Investigations Bureau are asking the public for help in identifying a man who is responsible for a number of vicious anti-Semitic incidents in the City of Vaughan.
According to York Regional Police, on Sept. 18, officers responded to a call for a hate-motivated incident in the area of New Westminster Drive and Steeles Avenue. The caller had been driving his vehicle when a suspect not known to him began yelling anti-Semitic remarks. The victim began filming the suspect who approached the vehicle and attempted to assault him.
Avi Benchetrit is the Jewish gentleman who filmed this incident while in his vehicle.
He stated, "Anti-Semetism 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 anti-Semitic 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," declared Benchetrit.
Police believe this incident is connected to six other incidents that began on Sept. 18. These involve graffiti written on garage doors and vehicles on Mullen Drive. Investigators believe that the graffiti is hate-motivated, as it references both the Black and Jewish communities.
The suspect has been identified by Police as Kurt Edwards, 43, of no fixed address.
Anyone with information can contact the York Regional Police #4 District Criminal Investigation Bureau at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7441, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com.