Toronto’s Street Crimes unit is investigating two recent muggings and an attempted mugging in the Church-Wellesley gaybourhood.
At around 11pm on Jan 27 —a Saturday — Mile Janevski was walking west on Maitland St toward Jarvis when two men jumped him.
“One of the guys put me in a headlock while the other began punching me in the face, smashing my glasses and giving me a black eye,” says Janevski. “I tried to escape, but because I was so surprised by the attack — I had my iPod on and was listening to my music very loudly — I couldn’t put up much of a fight.”
Janevski says the attackers stole his wallet, iPod, cell phone and jacket. Passersby called the police, but Janevski was unable to give a clear description of the two assailants.
“I don’t care about the material things that they stole from me, but the physical suffering I endured — my black eye finally subsided after three weeks,” he says. “What I really mind is all my friends are telling me not to walk that same route because of what happened, as if I have done something wrong.”
In a second incident on Feb 13 Mike Alves was walking down Maitland St just west of Church at approximately 1:30am when he noticed someone following him. When he turned around to look, the man jumped him and pushed him against a nearby wall out of view of a nearby surveillance camera.
“He said, ‘Give me your money.’ I told him that I didn’t have much, showing him a $10 and a $20,” says Alves. “He took the money and ran off, then I called 911. He ran to Church St and turned. I assume he got into a cab and left. I never saw his face. But his jacket was very distinct — a white hoodie with a solid-color print on the back.”
According to Division 51 superintendent Jeff Maguire, the two incidents do not appear to be related and police do not believe they were perpetrated by the same person. No arrests have been made.
A third attempted mugging has apparently taken place since the first two. The victim of that incident, however, has not reported the incident, so police have been unable to determine if it is related to either of the first two.
The third incident took place in the alley behind Steamworks, off Church St. The unidentified victim informed the management of Steamworks of the incident. As a result, the building managers are replacing the building’s existing surveillance cameras behind the building with infrared cameras for better night-vision imaging. Steamworks manager Cam Lewis says that building security has been alerted and that he’s been told the private firm will be stepping up foot patrols in the alley near the bathhouse’s entrance.
Maguire is asking that the third victim, as well as anyone else who has been attacked, report it to police.
“I know that there are added challenges for some people who don’t want to talk to the police, but if we don’t know what is going on, then we cannot investigate this fully,” says Maguire.
“If you are attacked and still feel as if you are in danger, call 911 as soon as possible. If it is after the fact and you are in a safe place, you can call the police department’s main line at (416) 808-2222 and ask to report the incident.”