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Man, 23, charged for allegedly making antisemitic threats at students near North York school

A Toronto man is facing charges after allegedly hurling antisemitic threats to students near a school in North York last month.

On Jan. 24, at around 4:15 p.m., police said they were called to the Bathurst Street and Wilson Avenue area, located north of Hwy. 401, for threatening behaviour.

Officers said the accused was walking near a school when he allegedly made several antisemitic threats to students and their families.

This Thursday, police arrested 23-year-old Mark Encarnacion, and charged him with uttering threats and causing a disturbance. The charges have not been tested in court.

Investigators are treating the incident as a suspected hate-motivated offence.

In data released in January, Toronto police said the number of hate crimes in the city soared by 42 per cent in 2023, with most calls related to reports of antisemitism.

Officers said there were 132 reported antisemitic incidents last year – a 103 per cent jump from 2022, when 65 incidents were reported. During that same timeframe, police said there were 35 reported hate crimes categorized as anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian or anti-Arab, whereas in 2022, there were 12. 

Police are asking anyone with information to call them at 416-808-3500 or Crime Stoppers anonymously.