Toronto police have arrested a 42-year-old Burlington man in connection with alleged incidents of “hate-motivated” vandalism at a mosque in the Danforth and Donlands avenues area.
Police announced in a news release on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 14, that a man had been arrested on Oct. 13.
Lee Bryans, 42, of Burlington, is facing charges of mischief/damage to property not exceeding $5,000, and two counts of obstructs/interferes with the lawful use and enjoyment of property.
The charges relate to alleged vandalism/graffiti incidents at the mosque that took place on the evening of Friday, Oct. 6, and the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 12.
In Saturday’s news release, police said that “after consultation with the (Toronto Police) Service’s specialized Hate Crime Unit, the investigation is being treated as a suspected hate-motivated offence.”
The news release further said:
“When suspected hate-motivated offences are reported to police, the investigation will be led by a Divisional investigator. The Hate Crime Unit will be made aware and specialized officers from that unit will support the investigation as needed.
“If it is alleged a criminal offence was committed (such as assault or mischief) and it is believed to have been motivated by bias, prejudice or hate, the officer-in-charge will consult with the Crown. If a person is charged and convicted of the offence, the Judge will take into consideration hate as an aggravating factor when imposing a sentence.
“Wilful promotion of hatred and advocating genocide are hate propaganda (hate speech) offences which require the Attorney General’s consent. Members of the Hate Crime Unit will provide assistance and support to the divisional investigators in seeking the Attorney General’s consent to lay these charges, if applicable. These charges are often laid at a later time.”