Woman in alleged racist assault video to be assessed at Toronto mental health hospital
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story named the accused. However, Global News has decided to remove the woman’s name since she has been remanded into custody at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health pending an assessment.
A woman captured on video making racist comments and spitting on a man at Nathan Phillips Square will be assessed at a Toronto mental health facility.
The accused appeared in court on Tuesday. The woman shown in the video shared online was observed by Global News to be the same person in court.
Evidence details related to the alleged assault were presented before a judge, but those details are now covered by a publication ban imposed by the court.
The 28-year-old woman, who was seen having a dishevelled appearance and wasn’t wearing any shoes when she was transferred to the holding cells, had to be escorted by five court security officers. When coming into the courtroom, the accused was brought in by three court security officers.
WATCH: In Toronto, charges have been filed after a video surfaced, showing a woman verbally attacking a man and spitting on him
A police officer told Global News the woman spat at court security staff and was going to be arrested again for alleged assault.
Global News spoke with a man who identified himself as the accused’s father. He said she has unspecified “mental health issues.”
The woman is still in custody pending further evaluation at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer condemned the incident Monday evening.
“I don’t know who this woman is, but there is no place in our party or our country for her hateful language,” Scheer wrote in a tweet.
“I condemn her behaviour and racist comments.”
The 24-second video was posted on Instagram and Reddit by Farhan Rana on Monday afternoon. In it, a woman can be seen holding a white sign with the words “VOTE ANDREW SCHEER” painted in black.
“This is the place of men. This is the place of men. This is a beautiful country and you can’t f— it up, you savages,” she can be heard saying.
“I can’t believe you’re real,” Rana can be heard saying.
“You guys can f— it up like savages,” she said before walking toward the camera.
“You’re actually real,” he replied, before saying again: “You’re real?”
“You want to f—ing fight me?” she asked before appearing to spit straight ahead and above the camera as it then pans down.
“Get the f— home! Go home! This is the place of men, not for f—ing n—-ers! You don’t belong here. Get the f— home. You can’t spit on my country.”
The woman appears to continue right after, but the video cuts off. Rana provided Global News with an extended video (one minute and 19 seconds) of the incident. It appears to pick up where the 24-second video cut off.
“You spit on my country,” the woman can be heard saying.
“You’re f—ing disgusting,” he can be heard saying.
“You spit on my country. Go back home, you f—ing n—er,” she said.
“Are you,” Rana said before it goes quiet for a few seconds as the camera continues to point down. It is then that Rana appears to walk forward.
The pair can be heard engaging back and forth for several more seconds.
Global News spoke with Rana on Monday evening about the incident. He said he was out for a walk on his lunch break when she told him “out of nowhere” to “get out of my country.”
“I haven’t seen anything like this before. I haven’t even heard of it. You see of it online here and there, and it seems like random acts,” he said.
“But when it happens to you, you see it’s so real. Even when it happened … I was kind of amused by how ridiculous the whole thing was. But then when she came over and she assaulted me, I was like, ‘Whoa, what’s happening? Where am I?’ I felt unsafe and all of a sudden it seemed kind of unsafe. There was so much anger, so much hostility. It was scary.”
He said he wanted to make a video to have evidence of the interaction. Rana said people reacted and offered assistance and sympathies after the incident.
“I’ve been working here for a few years. I’ve grown up here, like this is where home is for me. It was just so strange,” he said.
“It was so ridiculous. When somebody is just talking to you, it’s kind of easy to ignore — you can walk away. But if somebody comes by and spits at you, that’s when it kind of changed and it got really emotional. I wasn’t laughing any more, it was serious, I was hurt and I was assaulted, and that’s not OK.
“That doesn’t belong here in Toronto. The people from Toronto are not like that. It’s a multicultural, diverse society that we live in, and we’re all here to support each other.”
Rana said he spoke with police and his boss about what happened. He said he had to go home afterwards.
Toronto police Const. David Hopkinson said officers received multiple calls to Nathan Phillips Square at 12:06 p.m. on Monday with multiple reports of an assault or a fight.
“Apparently, a woman had been walking around spitting on people, punching and kicking them,” he said, adding City of Toronto security responded with police.
He said a 28-year-old woman was placed under arrest for assault and taken to a police station.
“Once there, it’s alleged she attacked a number of officers — three, to be exact,” Hopkinson said.
Hopkinson was asked if the incident could be considered a hate crime as racial slurs were heard.
“Hate crime is very difficult offence to charge for. In order to be charged for a hate crime, you have to be saying racially charged things as you’re committing another offence … she has not been charged with that as far as I’m aware,” Hopkinson said.
“She may have been saying racist slurs, she may have been saying slurs, that’s not arrestable for hate crime.”
The woman is scheduled to reappear in court on Sept. 12.
— With files from Jamie Mauracher
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