The Toronto Police Service would like to advise the public of an arrest made in a suspected hate-motivated assault with a weapon investigation.
On Thursday, March 9, 2023, at 4:48 p.m., Toronto Police received a call for a person with a knife at Wilson Subway Station in the Allen Road and Wilson Avenue area.
It is reported that:
- a woman was riding on the southbound subway from Vaughan Metropolitan Station when she was approached by the suspect and engaged in conversation
- the suspect became agitated and produced a knife
- the woman got to her feet and ran from the train at Wilson Subway Station
- investigators believe the victim was targeted because of her Muslim faith
On Thursday, March 16, 2023, at 11 a.m. the suspect was located and arrested.
Philip J. Fenton, 47, has been charged with:
- Weapons Dangerous
- Assault with a Weapon
He will attend Toronto North Court via video link on Friday, March 17, 2023, at 10.a.m.
Police would like to thank the members of the public who provided information leading to his arrest.
When suspected hate-motivated offences are reported to police, the investigation will be led by a Divisional investigator. The Hate Crime Unit will be made aware and specialized officers from that unit will support the investigation as needed.
If it is alleged a criminal offence was committed (such as assault or mischief) and it is believed to have been motivated by bias, prejudice or hate, the officer-in-charge will consult with the Crown. If a person is charged and convicted of the offence, the Judge will take into consideration hate as an aggravating factor when imposing a sentence.
Wilful promotion of hatred and advocating genocide are hate propaganda (hate speech) offences which require the Attorney General’s consent. Members of the Hate Crime Unit will provide assistance and support to the divisional investigators in seeking the Attorney General’s consent to lay these charges, if applicable. These charges are often laid at a later time.