Toronto war memorial defaced in 'hate crime'
Toronto Police are calling the vandalism of a west-end war memorial "a hate crime."
A woman walking Sunday night by the sculpture in Coronation Park -- at the foot of Strachan Ave. and Lakeshore Blvd. W. -- called police after noticing someone had taken a black marker and written "Canada will burn; Praise Allah" on the memorial.
"This is an identifiable group," Det. Anthony Williams told news hounds at the scene Monday. "The veterans should be respected. That's a total disrespect for our sworn members and military members who have made the ultimate sacrifice."
At the Remembrance Day ceremony at Old City Hall Sunday morning, anti-war protesters were heard chanting during the two minutes of silence.
Williams said he couldn't speculate whether the vandalism was protest-related.
"I can't speculate as to what their motivation is, but if they did this on Nov. 10 or 11 ... someone is looking for an opportunity to draw attention to themselves," he said.
City cleaners scrubbed the black letters off the memorial.
Mischief and vandalism charges could be likely, Williams said, but there "are provisions for higher penalties when they are designated as a hate crime."
Officers were also investigating a sign at a lifeguard's post near the memorial, which had "Holy Jihad" written in black marker, to determine if there was any connection with the vandalism found on the memorial.
Posted by: trailing wife 2012-11-15