As concern grows among Toronto residents over an apparent spike in violence on the TTC, police are asking members of the public for assistance with an assault investigation involving teen girls who are alleged to have attacked “several people” at multiple subway stations in December.
“It is reported that on Saturday, December 17, 2022, between the hours of 10 pm and 12 am, a group of eight to 10 teenage girls randomly assaulted several people,” reads a news release issued by police Wednesday afternoon.
“The assaults occurred on TTC line 1 at Queen’s Park, St. Patrick, Osgoode, St. Andrew, and Union Stations.”
Investigators are asking anyone who may have been a victim of these random attacks, or who has information that could prove helpful, to contact them at 416-808-5200.
— Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) January 11, 2023
While police stopped short on Wednesday of linking these particular teens to those charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of 59-year-old Ken Lee, it is of note that Lee is said to have been attacked by eight teen girls near Union Station at 12:17 am on December 18, 2022.
According to Wednesday’s news release, the TTC attack spree of December 17 ended less than 20 minutes before Lee was murdered.
Lee, Toronto’s 68th homicide victim of 2022, is said to have recently entered the city’s shelter system when he was “swarmed” and stabbed by eight teen girls in the area of York Street and University Avenue last month.
He was transported to hospital with life-threatening injuries and pronounced deceased at a local hospital. Eight teenage girls were arrested nearby and have all since been charged with second-degree murder.
— blogTO (@blogTO) December 20, 2022
The assaults mentioned in Wednesday’s news release are far from the only violent, random attacks to have occurred on TTC property in recent months.
Last month, in December of 2022, a 31-year-old woman was fatally stabbed aboard a train at High Park subway station — one of two victims who were said to be attacked by a 52-year-old stranger at the time. This attack was also said to be random.
Six people were attacked with a weapon by a single female suspect while riding TTC’s busy Yonge-University line during the morning commute roughly one week later. The bloody aftermath of that attack, also random, was captured on camera… and we’re only just scratching the tip of the iceberg.
Toronto Mayor John Tory has pledged to hire an additional 50 Special Constables for the TTC’s Transit Enforcement Unit at the cost of $2.4 million to combat the crime wave.
Whether or not this measure will work remains a subject of heated debate.