Initial reports indicate a woman who was stabbed in the head and face on a streetcar in downtown Toronto Tuesday afternoon did not know her attacker, police say.
Toronto police said emergency crews were called to Spadina and Sussex avenues, just south of Bloor Street West, around 2 p.m. for a stabbing on a streetcar.
Duty Insp. Lori Kranenburg said a woman in her 20s was found suffering from stab wounds to her head and face.
She was rushed to hospital where she remains in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries, Kranenburg said.
“When the officers arrived, the suspect was still on scene and has been taken into custody,” Kranenburg said.
“I’m told that they will be charged with one count of aggravated assault.”
She said while it’s early in the investigation, initial reports indicate the suspect, a woman in her 40s, and the victim didn’t know each other.
A knife was recovered at the scene.
Kranenburg said investigators will be reviewing surveillance video from the streetcar to get a better indication of what exactly happened.
It’s the latest in a series of violent attacks on Toronto transit.
On Monday, police said up to 15 young people attacked transit employees in Scarborough and over the weekend, a TTC worker was allegedly shot with a bb gun.
Last month, two women were stabbed onboard a subway car, killing one of them. In that incident, police said the victims did not know the alleged attacker.
“We’re aware that there are ongoing issues with safety with the TTC and this has been raised a number of times,” Kranenburg said.
“Toronto police is working in conjunction with the City to address these safety issues and with Toronto transit. We are working to increase our presence on the system, but as has been said before by others, we can’t be everywhere at all times. So we’re just asking people to continue to be aware of your surroundings and if you see something, report it and then we will respond and investigate appropriately.”
Kranenburg asked that anyone who was on the streetcar when the stabbing occurred Tuesday afternoon contact investigators if they haven’t yet provided a statement to police.
In a statement Tuesday, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) said “violence on public transit properties across Canada is on the rise.”
“And we continue to see an alarming increase of unprovoked attacks against transit worker and more recently attacks against riders,” the statement read.
The ATU said it has “repeatedly called” for greater security measures, but said injuries and violence against transit workers continues.
The union said politicians and transit agencies have condemned the violent attacks, but have “failed to take action.”
“How will they prevent future attacks?” President of ATU Canada, John DiNino said, “We need real action not just talk.”
Di Nino said ATU Canada is “calling for immediate action with the implementation of a National Transit Task Force to deal with violence on transit properties across Canada.”
“This call to action should be supported by all levels of government, transit agencies, and municipalities. ATU Canada is prepared to spearhead this initiative to bring forward concrete recommendations and policies to provide safe, reliable and affordable transit for all Canadians,” Di Nino said.
Our thoughts are with the victim of this incident.
We will, as always, support police as they investigate this awful attack.
We don't have any other details at this time. https://t.co/Vr0O5cAa18
— TTC Media Relations 📰🚌🚋🚈 (@TTCNewsroom) January 24, 2023
-with files from Global News’ Hannah Jackson
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