Police in St. Thomas, Ontario, which is located about halfway between Toronto and Detroit, Michigan, have charged a man in his 30s with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon after they say he went berserk with a baseball bat and attacked a family in a shopping mall parking lot according to CityNews in Toronto.
One male victim’s ribs were broken, the man’s family reported via Instagram. Officials are further considering possible hate crime charges according to various news organizations in Canada.
In a series of three recordings of the incident, which we have embedded here from what appears to be the family’s Instagram page, the man is seen screaming, “You better get the f–k outta here! Terrorists! Terrorists! Terrorists! We got terrorists here!” The man continued screaming the word “terrorists” over and over, and eventually started yelling, “ISIS! ISIS! We got ISIS right here! ISIS! We have ISIS! We have ISIS! ISIS right here! We have ISIS! ISIS! ISIS! It’s ISIS!” At that point, the camera pans down when the man appears to start swinging his bat at those he was targeting. A woman starts screaming. A man off-camera can then be heard saying, “stay away from me!” several times as the man with the bat starts to back away while continuing to scream.
Earlier in the altercation, the man told the family they were “under arrest” because they were terrorists and ordered them to hand over a phone.
Local police say the encounter happened at the Elgin Mall at around 4:30 p.m. Thursday, December 7th. They say the victims were a husband, a wife, “their 13-year-old son and another adult,” CityNews reported. The victims were of Colombian descent and were speaking Spanish when the man started badgering them. Colombia is in South America. ISIS is fighting over territory in western Iraq in the Middle East. ISIS members speak Arabic, predominantly, though ISIS is said to broadcast propaganda in dozens of languages.
The CBC reports that the suspect fled the scene in a white BMW before police arrived. Police later arrested a man on the south side of London, Ontario, whom they believe to be the suspect. London, Ontario, is a neighboring community immediately north of St. Thomas, where the attack occurred. The suspect’s last known address was in Toronto, police told the CBC. The suspect was scheduled to appear in court this morning.
A St. Thomas police sergeant told the CBC that this was a “distributing” and “isolated” incident. “Hopefully it remains isolated,” he added.
[Image via screen grab from social media video.]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]