Toronto police say a man has been arrested for disturbing the peace after allegedly yelling derogatory comments in the Church-Wellesley Village Tuesday afternoon.
Police said officers were called to Church Street and Wellesley Street East at around 5:50 p.m. with reports several people were gathered.
“One person had a bullhorn and they started making comments that were derogatory towards the LGBTQ community … There was one gentleman in particular whose conduct we determined to be criminal and that we thought was causing a disturbance,” Insp. Jim Gotell told Global News Tuesday evening.
“Obviously when comments were being made, it caused a commotion among the crowd that was in the area and people were obviously disturbed by the comments that were being made.”
Gotell said the man was taken to 51 Division and is expected to be charged with the offence of disturbing the peace.
In an update late Tuesday, police said the accused will remain in custody and appear in a Toronto court Wednesday morning.
Gotell said divisional investigators are looking for any video captured during the incident and that they are consulting with the Crown Attorney’s office about potentially laying hate crime-related charges.
“In order for us to lay a charge for a hate crime, we have to have the consent of the Attorney General,” he said, adding additional evidence would be needed.
The incident comes weeks after an altercation at an anti-LGBTQ2 demonstration near the same area that left two people injured. Gotell said it appears the events are connected.
“Some of the people who were there that day were there again today,” he said, adding officers sought counsel from the Crown Attorney’s office after the last incident.
“We obviously take this situation that happened today quite seriously. We just want to express our commitment to the community to make sure they are safe.”
The demonstration also happened on the same day that officials at Toronto city hall marked the beginning of Pride month.
Meanwhile, Gotell asked anyone with information about Tuesday’s demonstration to call 51 Division at 416-808-5100.