Today, reports have circulated of an individual spotted near Bathurst and Steeles carrying an axe.
Upon learning of this, UJA Community Security immediately connected with our key contacts in local law enforcement. Here are the facts of this situation:
- This is based on the report of a single individual who said they saw someone carrying an axe. No violence or incident – beyond this single report of a sighting – has taken place.
- York Regional Police note that the report has not yet been verified. At this stage, there is no verified threat despite significant police investigation.
- Police deployed a heavy presence of officers to the area to search for the individual.
- As a precaution, a nearby Jewish day school (the Joe Dwek Ohr HaEmet Sephardic School) was put into temporary hold-and-secure mode at the request of police.
- The hold-and-secure request has now been lifted. Police were in communication with the school throughout the situation, and noted their appreciation for the school’s rapid response to their request.
- Police have noted that there is no evidence at this time to suggest the school was threatened or our Jewish community targeted.
As police continue to investigate, we encourage community members to exercise awareness, vigilance, and healthy precautions. In an emergency, please call 911.
We are grateful for the readiness demonstrated by the Joe Dwek Ohr HaEmet Sephardic School, as well as the diligence and responsiveness of York Regional Police.
We are continuing to monitor this situation. Should we ever receive emergency information that is critical to the safety of our community, we will not hesitate to alert our community on Shabbat via this email list.
UJA Community Security