Suspect taken into custody in connection with seemingly random slashing attacks downtown
Published Tuesday, December 13, 2022 9:55AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 13, 2022 3:22PM EST
A suspect in two seemingly random slashing attacks targeting vulnerable individuals in downtown Toronto has been arrested.
The suspect was taken into custody at his residence at around 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday morning, police say.
The arrest occurred as Insp. Kathlin Seremetkovski held a news conference at police headquarters on College Street to make a public appeal for information in the case.
Seremetkovski ultimately held another news conference about 45 minutes later to announce the arrest.
“I would like to sincerely take this opportunity to thank members of the public and our community members and stakeholders who have been extremely integral to us actually identifying and apprehending this individual as quickly as we have,” she said. “This has been an extremely successful day for us in that we're able to keep members of the community safe now that we have this individual in custody.”
The first incident happened in the Dundas and Victoria streets area at around 7:30 a.m. on Friday while the second incident happened near Yonge and Adelaide streets at around 5:45 a.m. on Sunday.
Both victims were taken to hospital but have since been released.
Seremetkovski previously said that the victims were under-housed individuals, though she refused to speculate on whether they may have been targeted for that reason.
She did say that police had nonetheless warned downtown homeless shelters about the incidents, providing them with a surveillance camera image of the suspect.
“There's absolutely been no indication (of motive) in both of the incidents,” she said earlier on Tuesday, prior to the arrest. “The suspect approached the one individual from behind. Nothing was said. They just slashed them and then fled the area and in the second attack that was unprovoked, the victim was sleeping. Nothing was said.”
Matthew McLellan, 21, of Toronto, will be charged with two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon.