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Man found dead in downtown Toronto victim of assault: police

Man found dead in downtown Toronto victim of assault: police

Police are appealing for witnesses after a 42-year-old man was found dead in downtown Toronto early Wednesday morning.

Officers located a male with obvious signs of trauma on the sidewalk in front of an apartment building at 60 Gloucester Street between Church Street and Yonge Street just after midnight.

“Police and EMS attended, saw obvious signs of trauma to the body and the male was pronounced deceased at the scene,” Toronto police Det. Paul Ward told media at the scene on Wednesday.

A witness who was walking his dog nearby last evening told Global News he saw the man on the ground bleeding profusely.

“As I came a little further, I saw there was a body with blood flowing from the sidewalk into the street and there was a big rock next to the head of the person,” said local resident Francois Lecuyer.

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Police believe the man was the victim of an assault but would not speculate on the cause of death.

“It was obvious that there was trauma to his body by just looking at him,” said Detective Ward.

The man’s identity has not been released but authorities say he is known to police.

“He frequented the downtown core, didn’t have a set address at this time,” Ward said. “He was distinctive looking when he was walking around last night. He had a sleeping bag with him and he was wearing a fedora.”

Police say there were several witnesses near the deceased when he was found and are seeking to speak with a person of interest.

“He was last seen walking westbound on Gloucester towards Yonge. He’s described as a male black, 6’3″ to 6’4″ in height, with a thin build, wearing a red t-shirt and possibly shorts,” Ward explained.

“Due to the proximity from him to the deceased we feel he might have some vital information and we are asking him to come forward to police.”

Local residents say the neighbourhood is known to be frequented by the homeless and the odd fight does break out from time to time.

“There’s been a lot of fighting between the homeless people in the different parks around here,” said Lecuyer.

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Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7400, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at http://www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).