Canadian police arrest 8 teenage girls for ‘crushing’ after they allegedly stabbed a homeless man on a Toronto street

Canadian police arrested eight teenage girls who knew each other through social media for allegedly “swarming” and brutally stabbing a homeless man on the streets of Toronto.

Three 13-year-old girls, three 14-year-old girls and two 16-year-old girls were each charged with second-degree murder when they stabbed a 59-year-old man who lived at the homeless shelter, according to a Toronto Police Service announcement Tuesday shortly after midnight on Sunday.

Police withheld the names of the eight suspects, underage, based on Canada’s Juvenile Justice Act, which prevents their release. The victim’s name was initially withheld pending notification of next of kin.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Homicide and Missing Persons Det. Sergeant Terry Browne declined to call the group of girls a gang, saying they had exhibited “swarming behavior.”

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“From what we’ve gathered so far, they met through social media. They come from different parts of the city. That is, they are not from a specific geographic location. We don’t know how or why they met that night or why the destination was downtown Toronto,” Browne said. “We don’t know how long they’ve known each other, but I wouldn’t call them a gang right now. ”

Toronto Police Service Det. Sergeant Terry Browne of the Homicide and Missing Persons Unit announces eight teenage girls have been charged with murder.

Toronto Police Service Det. Sergeant Terry Browne of the Homicide and Missing Persons Unit announces eight teenage girls have been charged with murder.
(Toronto Police Services)

“What they allegedly experienced that evening would be consistent with what we would traditionally describe as crushing or crushing behavior,” he added.

The Toronto-based victim had only been living in the emergency shelter system since late fall of this year.

This file picture shows Toronto Police investigating a double stabbing at the High Park subway station by two women, one of whom was fatal on the platform on Aug. 8, 2022.

This file picture shows Toronto Police investigating a double stabbing at the High Park subway station by two women, one of whom was fatal on the platform on Aug. 8, 2022.
(Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

“He has a very supportive family in the area, so I wouldn’t necessarily call him homeless, maybe only recently because of some bad luck,” Browne said.

Three of the suspects had prior contact with Toronto police, but the other five had no contact with police at all, Browne said. “A number of weapons” were seized from the girls at the time of arrest, Browne added, declining to elaborate at this time.

This file image shows a fountain on University Avenue in downtown Toronto, a famous square in a town square with large pots and commercial buildings.

This file image shows a fountain on University Avenue in downtown Toronto, a famous square in a town square with large pots and commercial buildings.
(Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)

At around 12:17 a.m. Sunday, police responded to a call for an assault in the area of ​​York Street and University Avenue. Emergency medical personnel were initially stopped by a group of people who reported the sting. The man was taken to the hospital by paramedics with life-threatening injuries. He was pronounced dead in hospital a short time later. The eight teenage girls were subsequently arrested nearby, police said.

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They later appeared for a court hearing at the Old City Hall at 10am on Sunday and were remanded in custody. Her next court appearance is scheduled for December. 29. Police are asking for the help of anyone who had contact with the suspects that night and are trying to obtain CCTV footage that may have recorded the brutal attack.

The suspects are believed to have first arrived in the area around 10:30pm on Saturday and were involved in an earlier altercation in the period leading up to the fatal stabbing.

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