Students are advised to exercise caution at night in the area around St. George station and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). Over the past week, at least two U of T students were mugged in separate incidents by a group of young people, one of whom appears to be around 10 years old, and wears glasses.
Last Thursday around 1:00 am, Nick* was walking by OISE when he was approached by two people, one in his late teens and the other around 10 years old. The pair stopped Nick and asked him for the time and for directions. During the conversation, a third person came out from behind Nick and hit him in the side of the head. The assailants then stole his phone.
“At first, they tried to get more from me but I was able to push them off. There was a bit of a physical altercation where the same guy who hit me kept [swinging] at me. I was able to keep him away,” Nick said. He was able to escape, although he did not retrieve his phone.
Nick contacted U of T Campus Police, who told him the incident — in front of OISE — took place off campus and he should therefore contact Toronto Police. As of press time, Special Constable Sam D’Angelo of the U of T Campus Police had not replied to requests for comment.
James* describes a similar experience during a separate incident. Last Friday around 11:00 pm, James* was walking near St. George station when three men approached him and started reaching for his pockets. They then summoned others who were hiding.
“I pushed one of the guys off, and another one took my arm, and he was essentially trying to knock me into the ground. I put my weight into him and got away,” James says. He was punched, but managed to get away.
Members of the group were described as between five feet five inches and six feet, wearing flat bill hats and hoodies. All were between 16 and 18 years of age. Most members of the group were male, although a few were female. According to James, at least one of the members of the group was about 10 years old and wearing glasses. Another member of the group was wearing a Los Angeles Kings hockey hat.
“Don’t go around OISE or St. George station at night,” James said, adding: “They’re not just looking to pick a fight. They’re definitely looking to mug people.”
*First name used only.
With files from Theodore Yan.