This exam season, university students in Toronto found a whole new reason to dread studying. The alleged feces flinger struck headlines around by throwing fecal matter and dumping buckets of liquefied fecal matter, apparently unprovoked.
From November 22nd to 25th, there were three incidents of “fecal attacks” before a suspect was flushed out by police. All three incidents occurred on or and around the York and U of T campuses in downtown Toronto:
- 22 November, Robarts Research Library: Just after 5 pm a man emptied a bucket of liquefied fecal matter on a woman and a child.
- 24 November, Scott Library: At 5 pm a man threw fecal matter at a man and woman in the library.
- 25 November, College St & McCaul St: At noon, a man emptied a bucket of feces over a woman on the street.
In total, 5 people were direct victims of the fecal attacks. While students around the city were put on edge.
The Arrest of Samuel Opoku
Police released still images of a suspect from security cameras in the area of the incidents. Former schoolmates of the 23-year-old Samuel Opoku called in tips, believing to recognize him in the photo. He was arrested on November 26th, the day after the final attack.
Opoku made his first court appearance in a packed courthouse with spectators flooding out into the halls. After reading his charges his bail hearing was set for December 3rd. The Hearing has since been moved to the 18th. Multiple attacks and charges including assault with a weapon could increase the perceived risk to the public and may decrease his chances of obtaining bail.
Related Reading: What to Do if Denied Bail in Toronto
Update: Samuel Opoku has been released on bail and is receiving mental health care. He is awaiting disclosure and will be facing criminal charges.
Samuel Opoku faces five counts of assault with a weapon and five counts of mischief. Although there were only three incidents, there were five victims so he faces one count for each.
Assault With a Weapon
While it is certainly unconventional, fecal matter is a potential weapon. Although the human body’s natural defences are well-equipped to defend against such attacks, infections are still possible, and feces have been the source of serious illnesses in the past.
Assault with a weapon can carry a maximum sentence of 10 years, of the Crown proceeds by indictment, and applies to anything designed, intended, or used to:
- Cause death or injury to a person
- To threaten or intimidate a person
The Crown will need to satisfy the Court that the alleged use of fecal matter meets the criteria of a weapon.
Mischief offences generally involve property damage. The offence occurs when someone willfully:
- Destroys property
- Renders property dangerous, inoperative or ineffective
- Obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property
- Obstructs, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property
An argument that the use of liquefied fecal matter meets one, or more, of these criteria in each of the separate incidents can be expected. If the Prosecution decides to claim the use of feces constitutes endangering human life, they will try mischief as an indictable offence. When tried as an indictable offence, mischief carries a maximum penalty of 10 years.
Hire a Toronto Assault Lawyer
If you or a loved one are facing assault charges in Toronto, your best chance is to hire an assault lawyer. An experienced criminal lawyer may be the difference between imprisonment and a not guilty verdict. They will guide you through your charges, your options, and your potential outcomes.
The best Toronto criminal lawyers know the most effective assault defences and ensure you get fair representation. Contact the Toronto criminal law firm of William Jaksa, today.