Police have arrested and charged a man in connection with a brutal stabbing in Toronto’s gay village that left a young man in hospital with severe injuries.
The victim, a 23-year-old Toronto-area man, originally from North Bay, was waiting for friends in the laneway that connects Wood and Carlton Sts on Jun 15 at around 6pm when he got into an altercation with another man.
During the incident the young man was stabbed multiple times with a 10-inch buck knife. Police say the victim attempted to shield himself with his arms.
“He didn’t know he was being stabbed until the third strike because he saw the blade come out with blood on it,” says Det Ron Boyce of Toronto police’s 51 Division.
Boyce says the attacker fled the scene after the victim fell to the ground. Police have not released the victim’s name.
The victim was rushed to the hospital with eight knife wounds to his chest, abdomen and arms. He underwent surgery and is expected to survive.
A security camera in the Yonge and Wood area captured video of a suspect running toward Carlton St. An arrest warrant was issued on Jun 16, the following day, and a man who is known to police turned himself in to authorities.
Christopher Hunter, 23, is facing charges including one count of attempted murder in connection with the attack.
Boyce says the stabbing was unprovoked and is in “no way shape or form” a hate crime.
“It was a crime of opportunity,” says Boyce, who believes the attacker was after the victim’s cell phone.
“He was meeting a friend that lived in the village,” says Boyce.
Boyce says the attack was an isolated incident that could have happened to anyone carrying visible electronic equipment, like a cell phone or an iPod, on the street. He says there’s no reason to worry that “things are getting out of hand” in the neighbourhood.
Toronto Police Service spokesperson Const Wendy Drummond says crime in the gaybourhood is down compared to last year. While sexual assaults are up 2.4 percent, regular assaults are down nine percent and homicides are down 100 percent says Drummond.