Toronto man arrested, again, for assault involving antisemitic slurs

Michael Park, seen in a Toronto park with a swastika on his chest, was charged with assault. (Credit: Centre for Israel Jewish Affairs)

A man has been arrested in Toronto for an alleged assault involving antisemitic slurs.

It’s the third time in as many months the same man has been arrested on charges that included antisemitic vitriol hurled at victims.

According to Toronto Police, on Sept. 11, a woman was sitting on a bench on the subway platform at the Lawrence subway station.

According to an account posted to social media, the victim said her assailant asked “multiple” times whether she was Jewish. When she did not respond, he gave a Nazi salute, asked whether she knew what it meant, then assaulted her.

A bystander intervened and the attacker fled.

“I do believe he is a danger and I don’t want anyone, Jewish or not, to become another target,” the victim wrote.

The following day, police arrested Michael Park, 32, of no fixed address. He was charged with assault and failure to comply with a release order. He was scheduled to appear in court in Sept. 13.

In July, Park was arrested following two separate incidents in which antisemitic slurs were used against victims.

In one, police were called to Stanley Park, where Park was seen with a drawing of a large swastika on his chest, and allegedly yelled antisemitic slurs at a person, before throwing an object at them.

He was arrested nearby and charged with assault with a weapon as well as two municipal bylaw infractions related to behaviour in parks.

Four days later, police said another victim encountered the same man, this time in the Yonge Street and Glen Elm Avenue area. Again, the suspect displayed a swastika on his chest and was heard yelling antisemitic slurs at three Jewish women.

When the victim confronted the man about his language, he was punched multiple times.

Park was arrested not far from the scene and charged with one count of assault.

“Stronger judicial measures are needed to keep the Jewish community safe, especially during the High Holidays,” Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, said in a news release. “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.”