Woman dead after suspected unprovoked daylight assault on downtown Toronto street: police

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Woman dead after, man arrested after suspected unprovoked assault in downtown Toronto: police
WATCH: Woman dead after, man arrested after suspected unprovoked assault in downtown Toronto: police – Jan 20, 2023

A suspect has been arrested and an elderly woman is dead after a reportedly unprovoked assault on a downtown Toronto street Friday morning, police say.

Toronto police said the incident occurred on Friday at around 11:39 a.m., in the area of Yonge and King streets.

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Police said a woman in her 70s or 80s was walking  alone when she was allegedly pushed to the ground, seriously injuring her face and head.

Read more: Police seek suspect after sexual assault reported at Toronto’s Kennedy Station

Speaking to reporters, Acting Insp. Craig Young said emergency services responded and “immediately rendered life-saving measures.”

“But unfortunately, the female was pronounced deceased at the scene as a result of the injury sustained,” Young said.

Young said officers received a suspect description from a witness and video surveillance, and located a suspect.

According to Young, the suspect — a man in his 30s — was taken into custody on Richmond Street, just west of Yonge Street, and will be charged with aggravated assault.

” That obviously can be upgraded depending on the outcome of the further investigation,” he said.

Young said the force’s homicide unit “has been notified,” but has not yet taken carriage of the investigation, as they are waiting for the “outcome of an autopsy and a formal cause of death.”

Police have not yet identified the deceased, pending next of kin notification.

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Officers said initial reports from the scene suggest the incident was an unprovoked attack.

Young said, though, with a suspect in custody, officers do not believe there is any further risk to the public.

One witness told Global News she saw a person laying on the ground and thought at first it was a man.

“There were a lot of people near her,” the witness said.

She said the incident has left her feeling “nervous.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

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In a statement Friday evening, Toronto Mayor John Tory said the incident was “another example of what appears to be a random violent attack on an innocent person in our city – something that has become far too common in cities across Canada.”

“This is a tragedy and my condolences are with the woman’s family and loved ones,” Tory wrote in the statement.

Tory said he spoke with Toronto police chief Myron Demkiw on Friday.

“I understand the police investigation is continuing and will be comprehensive,” he said.

“While the facts of this specific case have not been determined and made public, we all know that we need to do everything we can to determine the root causes of such acts,” Tory continued.

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Tory said more investments need to be made into mental health and addiction treatment.

“We need the provincial and federal governments to do that as soon as possible,” he continued. “We need to continue to support our police service – I support doing that in our city’s budget because I know we need more officers in the downtown and across the city.”

He said we need to “change some of the laws that are out of date and less effective than they need to be.”

“We need to continue to invest in anti-violence and neighbourhood initiatives,” Tory said.

-With files from Global News’ Catherine McDonald

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