Police investigating suspected hate-motivated incident involving armed man at Jewish school

A 21-year-old Toronto man is facing a slew of charges following a suspected hate-motivated incident at a Jewish school in North York.

The incident, which Toronto police say appears to be an isolated one, happened on Wednesday at Yeshiva Gedolah of Toronto, near Lawrence Avenue West and Bathurst Street.

According to Toronto police, a man was riding his bicycle through school property when he was confronted by students for being on the property.

This individual reportedly returned a little while later and started yelling at the students. Police said he also made anti-Semitic comments.

School staff then confronted the man and a physical confrontation broke out during which a staff member was threatened and assaulted, police allege.

Kyle McLeod, 21, of Toronto, was arrested and charged with a variety of offences, including assault with a weapon. He is set to appear in court on July 28.

Toronto police’s Hate Crime Unit is involved and is investigating this incident as a suspected hate-motivated incident.

Jewish human rights group Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre (FSWC) for Holocaust Studies is decrying this latest incident of anti-Semitism.

“It is extremely troubling that a man with a weapon violently threatened people at a yeshiva and, even more disturbingly, yelled that he wanted to kill Jews. … and the perpetrator must face consequences for his disturbing actions,” Jaime Kirzner-Roberts, FSWC’s Director of Policy, said in a May 26 statement.

This incident comes as Toronto police report a 22 per cent year-over-year increase in hate crimes, the majority of which are directed at the city’s small Jewish community.

“Such an attack comes on the heels of the Toronto Police Service’s most recent annual hate crime report that once again showed the city’s Jewish community as the most targeted group. Jewish students deserve to go to school without fearing threats and violence,” Kirzner-Roberts said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-1300, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477) or www.222tips.com.

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