Video shows man hurling racist insults, threats on Toronto streetcar
WARNING: This story contains graphic language
A man was caught on camera hurling racist insults and threatening another man on a streetcar full of commuters on Monday night in Toronto.
In the video, a white man wearing a blue hoodie, green hat and yellow construction helmet is held back from the victim of the threats, who appears to have brown skin. The man in the hard hat claims to have been punched in the face, though the witness who filmed the incident said she didn't see that happen.
"Next time you punch me in the face I promise you're getting buried," the man in the hard hat says as two women who intervened force him off the streetcar.
"You're a little bitch, eh? Welcome to Canada," he yells at the victim.
The man receiving these insults says nothing during the altercation.
Valeska Griffiths, a freelance writer who filmed the incident, which took place just before 6 p.m. on the St. Clair Avenue streetcar in Toronto's west end, said everyone on the streetcar was horrified by what they were seeing.
Griffiths said she eventually lost her cool and called the man a "f--king racist." She said the man responded by saying he was proud of that, then said "Go Trump" — referring to U.S. president-elect Donald Trump.
On the video, the man also says "these people think they have the right to assault us," calls the victim stupid and insinuates that he's not from Toronto. He's also carrying several cans of beer, though Griffiths said she didn't believe he was drunk.
The TTC driver stopped the streetcar until police arrived at the scene.
Toronto police officers spoke with both men outside the streetcar and eventually allowed the man who had been insulted back onto the streetcar.
Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook said there was a physical altercation between the two men that included some shoving, but no punches were thrown, according to witnesses.
Neither man wanted to press charges, Douglas-Cook said, and no charges have been laid.
Witness said incident broke her heart
Griffiths said the man was visibly shaken when he got back on the streetcar.
"He kept apologizing for wasting my time, which broke my heart," Griffiths said.
"He showed a lot more grace than I would have."
<a href="https://twitter.com/SOTEfilms">@SOTEfilms</a> The brave one here is the victim. He showed so much restraint and grace. I couldn't have done it.—@bitchcraftTO
Griffiths said she takes the St. Clair streetcar route frequently and has never seen anything like this. She said she has, however, been worrying about something like this happening since Trump was elected.
On the video, other commuters tell the victim that he did a good job and that he did nothing wrong. Not everyone here is like that, one person tells him.
Brad Ross, the TTC's spokesman, said the city's transit system must be a space that's safe and secure for everyone.
"We will continue to work with police to ensure incidents like the one in the video are the exception and not the rule," Ross said in an email statement.