Sept. 13, 2021
TORONTO – 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.
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 antisemitic 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.
“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.”
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.
As previously reported by B’nai Brith, there was an unprecedented surge of violent antisemitic incidents in May of this year, with the highest monthly total since our Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents began in 1982.
Canadians who witness any antisemitic violence, vandalism or harassment may also wish to send pictures, videos and/or information to [email protected].
If it’s a criminal matter, please call police first, then contact us at 1-800-892-2624.