Montreal

Montreal police charge Kirkland man accused of online hate speech targeting Muslims

Provincial police came across remarks while monitoring social media sites, then notified Montreal force

Kirkland man accused hate speech

Police made the arrest overnight at a home on de Shediac Street in Kirkland, an on-island suburb of Montreal. (Alain Béland/Radio-Canada)

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Montreal police have arrested a man accused of making hateful social media comments targeting Muslims and charged him with promoting hatred and uttering threats online.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of two years and five years respectively. 

Antonio Padula, 45, was arrested around 2 a.m. Wednesday at a home on de Shediac Street, near de Berne Street in Kirkland.

He will be back in court tomorrow for a bail hearing. The Crown opposes granting him bail.

"I cannot handle another night in here," Padula told the judge.

Montreal police spokesman Const. Raphael Bergeron said members of the Sûreté du Québec came across Padula's alleged remarks targeting Muslims while monitoring various social media sites. They transmitted the information to Montreal police.

Montreal police Chief Philippe Pichet said Tuesday that since Sunday night's attack at a Quebec City mosque, there has been a spike in reports of hate-related comments.

The force is hiring 55 people whose jobs will include monitoring social media sites for hate speech.

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