A man has been charged with attempted murder following what police call an unprovoked attack on another man near Toronto's Eaton Centre Wednesday afternoon.
Arlington Thompson, 35, also faces charges of aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon. Police say the man had a 30-centimetre machete, which he allegedly used in the attack. Police say the man also had a 20-centimetre hunting knife. Police now have both weapons.
The attack left a 30-year-old man with several injuries. Police say he is in stable condition in hospital.
Toronto Police Sgt. Gale Corra said the two men had no previous contact and no history with each other.
"They may have just been crossing each other on the street," said Corra.
Police say they were called at 4:37 p.m. ET about the incident, which happened near Bay and Dundas streets.
A witness, Terence Yip, who works in technological support and maintenance for CBC, told CBC News that he was heading south on Bay Street when he heard yelling. He said one man was swinging at a man who was holding a guitar. Yip said a woman was yelling for police. He said a lot of people were in the area at the time.
Yip also tweeted that the attacker, a black man, yelled "F--k white people" before allegedly attacking the victim, who is white. He said the alleged attacker's machete was "probably the length of my arm. It was pretty big, a substantial weapon."
Yip said the man being attacked was on his back defending himself with his legs, while the man with the machete was swinging the knife at the man's legs.
"I've never seen anyone openly attack someone like that," said Yip. "It was extremely aggressive to the point where it was obvious that it was an attack."
Yip said a bystander tried to break up the fight, intervening long enough to allow the victim to run inside a nearby building.
The man with the machete had his back to the door at the Atrium mall on Bay Street and did not try to attack anyone else. Yip said the man was walking in a kind of circle outside the doors of the building before security guards nearby tackled him from behind, "like a football tackle."
Security guard praised
The security guard who tackled the man with the machete has been with his company for several years. His company says they are extremely happy with how he and the other officer reacted to the situation.
"It was executed perfectly," said Michael Soberal, manager of security, safety and sustainability for H&R REIT, said of his employee's tackling of the man.
He said his officers are trained to deal with a variety of situations. He said they both assessed the situation, took the risk and reacted.
"It's one of the busiest intersections, of course, in Canada and it takes a unique type of officer to be able to work down here," said Soberal.