We are writing today to alert you to important developments affecting our community’s security.
- On Tuesday, York Regional Police announced multiple, serious charges— including two counts of assault—against an individual who targeted four Jewish community members walking home from synagogue. The suspect, who was on a bike, acted in an intimidating manner toward the victims, including spitting on them and making antisemitic statements.
The victims had the presence of mind to immediately call police. Within roughly 30 minutes, the suspect was found and apprehended. This is a powerful, real-time example of the need for rapid reporting—as well as the responsiveness of our partners in law enforcement.
- Today, Toronto Police Chief Myron Demkiw announced that a Toronto man has been arrested and charged for public incitement of hatred—specifically for displaying the flag of a designated terrorist group.
This arrest sets a new standard and sends the message that waving the banners of terrorist groups is not an accepted form of free speech. It is a direct threat to public safety and order—and those who do so will be held criminally responsible.
- In the same announcement, Chief Demkiw declared: “Moving forward, demonstrations or the congregation of individuals on the Avenue Road overpass will not be permitted. People can expect to be arrested if necessary.”
This announcement, which follows significant conversations between UJA, CIJA, and other Jewish organizations with Chief Demkiw, will ensure that the overpass will remain open for area residents. We are pleased by these actions to end the constant disruption to the lives of neighbourhood residents, including the large number of Jewish families nearby.
We applaud Toronto Police Services and York Regional Police for their continued work to keep our community safe. Click here to read the full statement, which includes a meaningful report on the rise of hate crime and the arrests that have taken place since October 7th.
We cannot overstate the importance of rapid reporting. If you ever experience a criminal act, such as threats, harassment, or any other concern related to your personal safety, please call 911 right away. When safe, call UJA Community Security at 416-635-5600.
We remain in constant communication with our partners in law enforcement, and will keep you informed of key developments.
UJA Community Security