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Woman set ablaze by suspect on TTC was victim of hate crime: police

On Friday, a woman was set on fire while on a bus at Kipling Station in Toronto. Police have since announced that they are investigating the attack as a hate crime.

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Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver BC
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On Friday, a woman was set on fire while on a bus at Kipling Station in Toronto.

Police have since announced that they are investigating the attack as a hate crime.

According to the Toronto Police Service, after consulting with the Hate Crime Unit, Toronto police are looking into possible motives.

Constable Alex Li called attention to the fact that it was an isolated incident, and that the suspect and victim were unknown to one another, adding that the random nature of the attack was an "obvious cause of concern."

Just after noon on Friday, an altercation between 33-year-old Tenzin Norbu and a woman in her 20s on a bus outside Kipling Station turned violent after he allegedly poured liquid on her and proceeded to light her on fire.

TTC employees, as well as bystanders, came to the victim's assistance, and she was eventually taken to hospital with second and third-degree burns.

Norbu fled the scene, but was captured soon after and taken into custody.

According to police, he was subsequently charged with attempted murder, assault with a weapon, common nuisance endangering the lives/safety of the public, and mischief over $5,000.

Norbu appeared in court on Monday.

As police explained, the decision to investigate the attack as a potential hate crime will alter how Norbu is sentenced.

"If it is alleged a criminal offence was committed (such as assault or mischief) and it is believed to have been motivated by bias, prejudice or hate, the officer-in-charge will consult with the Crown," they said in a statement. "If a person is charged and convicted of the offence, the Judge will take into consideration hate as an aggravating factor when imposing a sentence."

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