Police have launched a hate crime investigation after a suspect allegedly sprayed anti-Semitic graffiti on a sculpture outside the Art Gallery of Ontario earlier this week.
It happened at the northeast corner of the gallery near Dundas and McCaul streets on Wednesday night.
Police say a man was observed using white spray paint to deface the bronze sculpture ‘Couch Monster’, which depicts an elephant reconstructed using sofas, armchairs and other furniture .
The Hate Crimes Unit was subsequently consulted and the incident is now being treated as an alleged hate-motivated offence, according to police.
An image of the suspect was also released.
He is described as being in his 50s with an average build, shoulder length brown and gray hair with balding on the top of his head and a 30 year old gray and white beard. He was last seen wearing a black t-shirt with a “Tabaconiste” logo on the front, a black sleeveless hoodie with faded black and gray jeans, black Adidas sneakers with blue soles and a watch- black band bracelet on each wrist. He was also carrying a black drawstring bag.
This is just the latest incident involving anti-Semitic graffiti in Toronto.
Earlier Friday, police also released CCTV footage of two men who allegedly sprayed anti-Semitic graffiti at three separate locations in North York last month.
The incidents are believed to have occurred in the area of Yonge Street and Empress Avenue in the early hours of June 9.
The first suspect is described as between 16 and 20 years old with a slim build. He was last seen wearing black clothes and a blue mask.
The second suspect is described as between 16 and 20 years old with an average build. He was last seen wearing a dark-colored hat, gray long-sleeved shirt and jacket with reflective stripes on the arms, black shorts, black shoes with white soles, and a blue mask.
Police are currently investigating the North York incident as mischief, but the Hate Crimes Unit has been notified and will support the investigation as needed.