Teenager stabbed on Toronto bus in fourth case of transit violence in five days

TORONTO — A teenage boy was left with serious injuries after a stabbing on a public transit bus in Toronto's west end, police said Wednesday, marking the fourth case of violence in five days on the city's transit system.

Police said they received reports of a stabbing taking place at Old Mill subway station around 4 p.m.

Upon arrival, officers found a 16-year-old boy with stab wounds to his torso and legs, Duty Insp. Lori Kranenburg said.

Police said he was taken to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Paramedics said the victim had been taken to a trauma centre.

Police were looking for a suspect who they say fled the scene and was last seen heading eastbound on Bloor Street.

The suspect was described as a man in his 20s of unknown race with a medium build, wearing a blue mask and blue jacket with the hood up.

Police have received statements from several members of the public in relation to the stabbing, Kranenburg said. Anyone who may have been on the bus and witnessed the incident is asked to contact police.

Police are investigating whether the victim and suspect knew one another.

Video footage from the bus was also being downloaded and will be reviewed as part of the police investigation, Kranenburg said.

The city's transit system has seen several cases of violence in recent weeks and Wednesday's stabbing was the fourth in five days.

A woman riding a Toronto streetcar was stabbed in the head and face on Tuesday. Another woman has been charged with attempted murder and other offences.

On Monday, police said a group of up to 15 male youth allegedly swarmed and attacked two uniformed transit employees who were on their way to work by bus. Four 13-year-old boys have been charged with assault.

On Saturday, a TTC driver waiting to take over a bus was shot with a BB gun. She was not injured and police have described the suspects as possibly male teenagers.

Last week, police said they were looking for a suspect after an alleged hate-motivated assault at a subway station where a man allegedly struck a person wearing a religious head covering. On another day, police received reports that a man tried to push someone onto the tracks at a station downtown.

In December, a woman was stabbed to death and another was wounded in a random attack on a subway train. Also that month, police charged a woman after six people were allegedly assaulted in a spree of random attacks on a streetcar, subway platforms and trains.

Earlier Wednesday, a person was arrested after allegedly chasing two TTC workers with a syringe.

In a statement on Twitter, the Toronto Transit Commission said its thoughts are with the victim of Wednesday's stabbing.

"As always, we'll give police our full support as they investigate, including video and witness statements," the statement read.

Also Wednesday, the president of a major Canadian transit union called for a national transit safety task force involving transportation agencies from across the country and representatives from all levels of government in response to violent attacks in Toronto's transit system as well as others across the country.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2023.

Tyler Griffin, The Canadian Press