A Toronto man says he is dissatisfied with the response from police after he and his partner were allegedly threatened and assaulted in an east end park in June.
Mark Austin, a health and safety officer at the University of Toronto, says Toronto police have failed to properly investigate his case, and did not initially interview his girlfriend Candace Zinkweg, even though she had been seriously injured in an attack.
"This is an important issue for people of colour in this city," Austin said Monday, at a rally held outside 55 Division to support him.
"I want a full investigation into the police conduct. Why am I being blown off by so many police? They discounted me; they forgot about the victim for three days."
Austin says he and Zinkweg were walking their dog in Dentonia Park in the Victoria Park Avenue and Danforth Avenue area on June 25.
That's when, he alleges, a dog that wasn't on a leash bit his dog. Austin told CBC News he asked the dog's owners, who also live in his apartment building, for an acknowledgement and an apology.
Instead, he says, a man yelled racial slurs at him and threatened him before he and Zinkweg ended up in an altercation with the man and other members of his family, culminating in Zinkweg losing consciousness and being left with a head injury.
In a news release issued Monday afternoon, Toronto police say they are seeking witnesses as part of an investigation into "alleged assaults between two groups of people."
Police say assaults "began with an altercation between dogs in a park," and are asking anyone with information to come forward.
Austin says police essentially "blew him off" when they arrived at the park, didn't canvass the area for witnesses, and did not interview Zinkweg until days after the attack. He also says they did not do enough to ensure his safety and investigate his alleged attackers.
"There's a lot of questions that I cannot answer," he said.
Zinkweg told CBC News that she is trying to deal with the aftermath of the attack, which has left her with nausea and headaches.
"It was scary. I don't remember much of what happened after the fact," she said.
In an email to CBC News, police spokesperson Connie Osborne said the investigation is "active and ongoing.
"The Hate Crime Unit will review the matter as part of the investigation," she said.
"Updates will be shared if and when charges are laid."