Video of sleeping man being urinated on outside Toronto Eaton Centre draws police investigation

·National Affairs Contributor

Hard to believe they used to call it Toronto the Good, for its reputation as a bastion of Victorian moral rectitude.

Maybe Mayor Rob Ford should run a contest for a new nickname that's more in line with the Clockwork Orange dystopia exemplified by this video (Graphic content warning) of a young man apparently urinating on an unconscious guy lying on the sidewalk while a friend records it.

The target of this disgusting attack remains motionless throughout the 27-second video while the people laugh hysterically in the background.

"It's on his face," one bystander yells, overcome by the hilarity of it all.

The video, shot outside Eaton Centre in the heart of Toronto's shopping district, was uploaded to the website World Star Hip Hop with the title, "Real Or Fake? Cold-Hearted Thug Urinates On Sleeping Homeless Man In Downtown Toronto!" As of Wednesday afternoon it had been viewed almost 200,000 times.

[ Related: Eaton Centre still not safe, security expert says ]

The Toronto Star reports police now are investigating the incident as a potential crime.

"Obviously when someone is urinating on someone, that's an assault," spokesman Const. Tony Vella told the Star.

Police don't know when the video was shot, nor whether it's authentic, the National Post noted.

The same web site has another video of people fooling cops into thinking they were whizzing in public by holding a squirt bottle between their legs.

But Twitter, which helped send the video viral, seemed to take it at face value.

"Toronto the disgrace," tweeted Mike Sloan.

"What's wrong with society today? Thinking that this is cool. WRONG," tweeted John Hryniuk.

Doug Johnson Hatlem, a Toronto street pastor, told the Star that while the video is shocking, such attacks on people sleeping in the street aren't unusual.

"I think most of our friends who sleep outdoors have some sort of story of being attacked, kicked at, spat upon, hit by a nightstick, something like that while they were sleeping," Hatlem, who does outreach to the homeless, told the Star.

Toronto seems to have shed its inhibitions almost completely.

The Star noted World Star Hip Hop featured a video last year of a group of young girls attacking an older homeless woman on Yonge Street. Two 15-year-olds were charged with assault.

And last December, World Stars Uncut Online posted a video of a couple openly having sex on a subway platform. They were subsequently charged with engaging in a lewd act, according to The Canadian Press.

[Related: Sex on Toronto subway draws lewdness charges]

Hard to believe this is the same city where the mayor banned Scarborough's own Bakenaked Ladies from performing at the 1991 New Year's bash at Nathan Phillips Square because she found the name offensive.

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