Toronto Police Launch Hate Crime Investigation as Yeshiva Students Earn Praise for Defending Themselves Against Antisemitic Assailants
Police in Toronto have a launched a hate crime investigation after four yeshiva students were attacked and robbed on Sunday night by a group of drunken youths shouting antisemitic abuse.
The four teenagers — students at the Canadian city’s Yeshivas Lubavitch and identifiable as Jews from their haredi style of dress — were walking home on Fairholme Avenue, located in a traditionally Jewish neighborhood, at around 8 p.m. when a larger group of young people saw their kippot, started making “derogatory comments,” and began punching and kicking two of the boys, according to police, the Canadian Jewish News reported.
According to Rabbi Akiva Wagner, the principal of the yeshiva attended by the boys, the four students did not remain passive in the face of the attack.
“The boys were capable of looking out for themselves, it is the only reason they avoided something more serious,” Rabbi Wagner told the CJN.
One of the assailants, a 17-year-old boy, was arrested by police at the scene.
Toronto Mayor John Tory, along with several Canadian politicians and community leaders, took to social media en masse to condemn the attack, urging the public to assist the police with their investigation.
— John Tory (@TorontosMayor) November 12, 2018
Very concerned about an assault involving Jewish youth near Bathurst & Lawrence that is being investigated as a hate-crime/robbery. Have been in touch with @TorontoPolice and community leaders to offer support. Witnesses pls call 13D at 416.808-1300. https://t.co/DwAZsHSXmp
— Marco Mendicino (@marcomendicino) November 12, 2018
Just got home. Gratified I was personally able to provide the victims of the #antisemitic assault in #Toronto with comfort, reassurance and company with the police all evening and night. Good kids. Brave kids. They know they are not alone. @bnaibrithcanada
— Michael Mostyn (@MichaelMostyn) November 13, 2018