‘It was a very surreal experience’: Woman speaks out following assault on TTC

Click to play video: 'Woman recounts violent assault on TTC'
Woman recounts violent assault on TTC
WATCH: Woman recounts violent assault on TTC – Feb 3, 2023

On Dec. 19, 2022, Julia Rady headed to work, riding the subway travelling southbound on the Yonge line.

“I was on my way down to work and I was taking the TTC like I would almost any other day. I pulled out my book and sat down at which point, somebody … threw and empty bottle and it hit my shoulder,” Rady said.

Moments later, Rady said she was hit in the head with the same bottle.

“The individual got up, picked up the bottle and smashed it over my head…. It did cause my nose to bleed because of the force, I required stitches,” she said.

The suspect had reportedly assaulted multiple people on the train before an off-duty Toronto police officer intervened.

“I was incredibly lucky that days that there was an off-duty officer on the subway car,” Rady said.

Story continues below advertisement

Det. James Thompson declined an interview with Global News but in an article published by Toronto police, Thompson recalled the incident.

“As the train pulled away from Davisville station I heard loud screams and the sounds of a commotion coming from my right,” he said.

“When I looked over I observed a female passenger bleeding heavily from her face.”

Read more: Off-duty officer detains woman after ‘numerous people’ assaulted on TTC subway train

Police said the suspect was arrested and fellow passengers helped tend to Rady until emergency services arrived.

“My fellow passengers showed incredible humanity. They helped me. They made sure I was safe,” she said.

Rady said she has been living in Toronto and riding the TTC for over a decade; this incident left her in shock.

“(I remember thinking at the time,) I cannot believe this is happening to me and I remember thinking after as I am going to the hospital that victim you read about in the paper suddenly, there is a name and it’s my name,” she said.

“It was a very surreal experience…. It was unprovoked and it was random. Nothing that I did merited what happened to me but it did … reveal other things are at work within our society.”

Story continues below advertisement

Amina Hassan, 31, from Toronto has been charged with assault, assault causing bodily harm, five counts of assault with a weapon, five counts of weapons dangerous and breach of probation.

Global News reached out to Hassan’s lawyer, but he declined to comment as the case is before the courts.

A series of violent incidents across the TTC prompted the city to implement additional safety measures.

Click to play video: 'Divide growing over Toronto’s solution to TTC violence'
Divide growing over Toronto’s solution to TTC violence

According to the city, beginning this week, the TTC will have access to more than 20 community safety ambassadors who will work directly with those experiencing homelessness and will “liaise with the City’s Streets to Homes workers to provide outreach services.”

The TTC also adding 80 Toronto police officers across the system, increasing the presence of TTC special constables and hiring additional constables.

Story continues below advertisement

It has also increased the number of Streets to Home workers in the system and increased TTC transportation and maintenance managers.

Read more: Toronto to provide additional TTC safety measures after series of violent attacks

Rady said she’s aware outside factors are contributing the recent spike in violence.

“Other things are at work within our society and people are hurting and that hurt is now manifesting in the incidents of violence,” she said.

“I think we have to understand the complexity of this situation and realize that solutions are going to have to occur over a number of valences.”

Rady said she hasn’t taken the TTC since the assault, but she believes she will eventually use it in the future.

“It’ just giving myself the grace and patience to move forward,” she said, adding that she considers herself lucky.

“This will forever be – this is a traumatic event that I will carry with me and it’s now part of my personal story.”

— with files from Hannah Jackson.

Sponsored content