Toronto police launch hate crime probe after man makes anti-Asian comments, punches victim

Toronto police have launched a hate crime investigation after a man allegedly made an anti-Asian comment at a victim before punching him at a restaurant in Scarborough.

Police say a 52-year-old man was ordering food at the Midtown Plaza in the area of Midland and Sheppard avenues, when he was approached by a man who made an anti-Asian comment directed at him.

The man then punched the victim and fled the scene, according to a news release.

The victim was taken to hospital, where he was treated for injuries. 

Investigators are now searching for a man, described as 40-50 years old, five-feet 10-inches tall and 180 pounds, and clean shaven with a cut on his head.

Police believe he was in a four-door grey 2016-2018 Nissan Altima, with another man described as white, bald, wearing a blue sweater, dark pants and dark shoes. (Toronto Police Service)

Police believe he was in a four-door grey 2016-2018 Nissan Altima with another man described as white, bald, wearing a blue sweater, dark pants and dark shoes.

“After consultation with the service’s specialized Hate Crime Unit, the assault is being treated as a suspected hate crime,” police said in a release. 

Hate-crime charges in Ontario require consent from the Attorney General, police say, and are often laid at a later time. If a person is convicted of a hate crime, a judge will take hate into consideration as an aggravating factor during sentencing.

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