A 26-year-old man has been arrested on charges of “hate-motivated mischief” in connection with a string of at least three vandalized cars and one attempted defacement that cost over $140,000 in damage, police said on Wednesday.
The vandalism occurred between March and May at various locations in Toronto’s financial district — that area being just across from Ryerson University. Police say an incident occurred on Mar. 29 at around 7 p.m. where a window was smashed out of a parked car on Bay Street.
Another incident occurred on Apr. 19 when a driver found an act of “targeted vandalism” aimed at his SUV after parking on Bay Street and Milton Street. Shortly afterward, a car was reported to have been damaged at another location on Monk Street. All of the incidents were believed to be incidents of vandalism with “hate-motivated motivation.”
The alleged suspects have been identified as Samson Olashuomo and Ghassan Nabiouneh, both of whom live in the Toronto area. Both Olashuomo and Nabiouneh have been arrested and charged with three counts of criminal mischief, mischief to property over $5,000, mischief under $5,000, driving with a suspended license, and making a criminal threat to kill. Police found surveillance footage from a property where the first vehicle had been damaged that appeared to show the two suspects. The footage revealed that a third suspect may have been involved.
The incident was reported to police on Mar. 30 by the business owners. Since then, officers have been on the lookout for the suspects. Over $140,000 worth of damage was caused to vehicles at three locations in Toronto, including on Bay Street, Milton Street, and Monk Street. Overnight parking near the Eastern Spadina Waterfront has been restricted, as has the side and rear parking along Milton Street.
Police say the investigation into the vandalism is ongoing.