Hamilton police have arrested three individuals in relation to a People’s Party of Canada speaking event that took place at Mohawk College late last month, including son of Soufi’s owners, Alaa Al Soufi.
Police say that on Sunday, September 29, 2019, members of the public purchased tickets and attended the Mohawk College McIntyre Performing Arts Centre, located at 135 Fennell Ave. W, Hamilton, for a political speaking event held by the People’s Party of Canada.
Event attendees were reportedly met by approximately 100 protesters as they entered the building.
Hamilton Police Service and Mohawk College Security Services were on site to ensure community safety and well-being for protesters and attendees. At the time, four arrests were made for breach of the peace. The arrested parties were removed from the scene and later released unconditionally. There were no reported injuries, law enforcement says.
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Hamilton police continued the investigation to identify potential criminal offences and suspects, as well as interview victims and witnesses. After further review of video from a number of sources including media and social media footage, several criminal offences and suspects were identified.
On October 22, 2019, Hamilton Police arrested one male and on the following day, October 23, 2019, two males turned themselves in for offences related to the incident.
Alaa Al Soufi, 27, of Toronto, has been charged with two counts of Intimidation, two counts of Disguise with Intent, and Cause Disturbance.
Alaa’s parents, Husam and Shahnaz Al Soufi, own Toronto restaurant Soufi’s. The eatery came under fire following their son being identified at the event, and intended to close permanently before community support allowed a re-opening just days later.
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Kevin Metcalf, 33, also of Toronto, has been charged with Obstruct Police and Maximiliano Herrera, 30, of Hamilton, has been charged with Intimidation and Assault Level One.
Police are still attempting to identify two victims that were assaulted, and encourage them to come forward.
In one case, according to police, a male victim was assaulted by a male suspect when videotaping the event on his cell phone. In the other, police say a female victim was assaulted when a male suspect knocked her hat from her head, which was later returned by police.
These offences were captured on video surveillance and the suspects have been identified, but police would like to identify and speak to the victims.
Anyone with information that could assist with this investigation is asked to contact Detective Constable James Durka at 905-546-8966 or Detective Sergeant Marco DelConte at 905-546-3851.
To provide information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit your anonymous tips online.
Daily Hive has contacted Soufi’s for comment and will update this story accordingly.