UPDATE: Toronto Police have confirmed that Michael Park, 32, of Toronto, was charged with assault.
He attended court on Saturday, July 10, at Old City Hall, room 112. He is next scheduled to appear at College Park Court on Thursday, July 15, 2021, via video.
After consultation with the Service's specialized Hate Crime Unit, both investigations are being treated as hate motivated.
A photo of the suspect has been added.
Previous article below.
A man with a swastika tattoo allegedly harassed and assaulted two Jewish people near Stanley Park on July 6.
The incident, police say, involved the man hurling racial slurs and individuals. A video clearly shows the man with the tattoo approaching Jewish community members and saying "Hey, Jew... You like your history, right?"
A statement released alongside the video by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto states:
"Over the past week, a man with a swastika on his chest has twice assaulted members of Toronto’s Jewish community. On Tuesday, he was reportedly charged in connection with a hate-motivated assault near Stanley Park. On Saturday, July 10, the same individual yelled antisemitic slurs at three Jewish women near Yonge and St. Clair prior to attacking and choking a Jewish man."
"Like all members of society, Jews should be able to walk down the street with confidence in our safety and security. We are grateful for the immediate response of the Toronto Police Service to these incidents," the statement from CIJA says.
The man was ticketed and forced to leave the park by police.
Days later, the man, identified as 32-year-old Michael Park of Toronto, would again harass Jewish people by assaulting them.
"Antisemitism is a scourge that is quickly spreading throughout Canada and around the world. Over the past few months, Jewish Canadians – already the most targeted religious minority in this country according to Statistics Canada – have witnessed an alarming rise in hate-motivated harassment, vandalism, and assault. From Jewish owned businesses, to schools, to workplaces and unions, antisemitism is of ever-increasing concern for Jewish Canadians."
Hate crime charges are yet to have been laid, though the Toronto Hate Crime Unit is aware of the incident and further action could be taken.
Police reported a 51 percent increase in reported hate crimes last year in Toronto, with the Jewish community disproportionately targeted. Jewish people were the victims of nearly 30 percent of all hate crimes last year, the highest among any group.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5300, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, online on our Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).