Police search for man after alleged hate-motivated assault at Toronto subway station

The suspect is described as wearing a blue hat, black jacket and carrying a black bag.  (Toronto Police Service - image credit)
The suspect is described as wearing a blue hat, black jacket and carrying a black bag. (Toronto Police Service - image credit)

Toronto police are searching for a man wanted in connection with what they say was a hate-motivated assault Wednesday at the Bloor-Yonge subway station.

Police say they were called at around 8:30 a.m. after a man struck a victim in the head, causing their religious head covering to come loose and fall to the ground.

The man then allegedly made "derogatory comments" toward the victim and fled the area.

Police have not released the victim's age, gender or religious affiliation.

However, in a tweet Wednesday evening, Mayor John Tory said police are investigating the assault of a man.

"Our transit system — and city at large — must be safe places for all and free of hatred, without exception," he said in part. "Hate has no place in our city."

The suspect is described as wearing a blue hat, black jacket and carrying a black bag.

In cases where police believe a criminal offence is motivated be hate or bias, the officer in charge of the investigation will consult with the Crown, police say. A judge will then consider hate as a factor when sentencing an accused if they are convicted.

In a tweet on Wednesday, the TTC said it is helping the police in its investigation.

"The safety of customers and employees is paramount to all we do. This includes being safe from violence related to bigotry, racism, sexism or any other assault motivated by hate," the TTC said.

"The TTC condemns in the strongest possible terms this incident. Everyone should feel welcome and safe while riding on, or working for, the TTC and we actively promote a culture of inclusion and equity in support of that objective."