Teen slices opponent with machete at basketball game in Toronto

Feb 28 2023, 8:39 pm

Toronto teenagers have given the world yet another disturbingly-violent viral video to gawk at — this one filmed during a youth basketball game in Downsview Park.

The Toronto Police Service announced last week that it was looking for help in identifying “a teenage boy wanted in an Assault Cause Bodily Harm investigation” following an incident at North York’s Hoopdome Basketball Facility on Monday, February 20, 2023.

Police say that “a group of teenagers” had attended the multi-gymnasium space last Monday when, during a basketball game, “there was an altercation between the players.”

“A teenage boy pulled out a large knife and struck another teenage boy, causing a laceration to the victim’s hand,” said police in a news release last Wednesday. “The boy then fled the area.”

It wasn’t until this weekend, however, that video footage from the event surfaced online, giving viewers a better idea of just how messy the incident was.

In the video, we see several young men playing basketball. One person wearing white shorts and no shirt runs along the side of the court. Another player lunges toward the person in the white shorts and the camera pans over to reveal that he was running toward a bag.

It quickly becomes clear that the player in white shorts has a weapon. Described by police as “a large knife,” the weapon appears to be a machete (a cutting tool with a long, broad blade.)

The person in the white shorts slices the other player, who then runs back onto the court as his hand apparently bleeds all over the place. The camera then cuts to footage of blood on the floor, in the dressing room, and all over a bathroom sink as a youth filming reacts in horror, repeating the word “gushing.”

It’s not clear where the video was originally posted, but copies of it started hitting Reddit on Saturday afternoon.

From there, it was picked up by the infamous fight-aggregator World StarHipHop and then Twitter, where many are now asking why anyone would bring a machete to a basketball game.

“Canadian rules are different to regular rules I guess,” joked one Twitter user in response to the clip.

“In Canada, really?” remarked another, prompting someone to respond with, “You can tell it isn’t in America because nobody had a gun.”

One replied to the video with another video showing young people getting heated at a basketball game in Scarborough, writing, “Ball is life out here” with a Canada flag emoji.

Locals are weighing in with context on Twitter to explain that Toronto is more violent than its reputation might have implied at one point — and that the problem is only been growing more visible lately, especially when it comes to teenagers.

“I know this court very well, it’s in a bad neighborhood,” wrote one. “Toronto’s crime rate went up so much this year.”

Indeed, this isn’t even the first time a machete-wielding teenager has made headlines in Toronto within the past month.

From armed robberies and attacks on TTC workers to the stabbing death of a 59-year-old homeless man near Union Station, there’s been no shortage of disturbing news about teens committing crimes in Toronto lately.

Police are still looking for the suspect in the machete attack at HoopDome in Downsview Park and ask anyone with information to contact them at 416-808-3200 or anonymously via Crime Stoppers.

The suspect is described as a Southeast Asian boy in his teens with short black hair. He was last seen wearing white shorts, a black backpack, and no shirt.

Lauren O'NeilLauren O'Neil

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