Bail hearing delayed for man accused of flinging feces at Toronto strangers
|National Post 03 Dec 2019 at 17:53|
TORONTO — The 23-year-old man accused of flinging feces at Toronto university students will wait another two more weeks for a bail hearing.
Samuel Opoku made a brief appearance in room 128 of Old City Hall Court Tuesday afternoon, dressed in a denim shirt and dark grey pants. He sat swivelling in a plush blue office chair with his hands cuffed in front of him as his lawyer and the Crown notified the court that they had settled on a date for a special — meaning longer than usual — bail hearing.
The rest of what happened in court is covered by a publication ban.
Opoku’s lawyer, Jordan Weisz, told reporters outside court that he had hoped to conclude the bail hearing next week, but the schedule didn’t allow it.
“Jail is not an appropriate place for my client,” Weisz said, adding that although he was not allowed to speak specifically about Opoku, “most people would agree that the allegations suggest some form of mental illness.”
“If someone is throwing feces at persons randomly, without rhyme or reason, that, to me, would be strongly suggestive of a mental health issue because there would be no animosity between the person and the victim,” Weisz said.
Speaking in general, he added that taxpayers “pay far more to house the mentally ill in a shiny brand new detention centre … than we would to treat them.”
Police arrested Opoku on Nov. 26 in connection with three separate attacks involving a bucket allegedly containing what has been described as liquified fecal matter.
On Friday Nov. 22, a man threw feces on two people studying at the University of Toronto’s Robarts Library. Two days later a similar attack took place 20 kilometres away, at York University’s Scott Library in the city’s north end. A third attack took place the following day. A man threw a bucket full of liquified feces at a woman at the southern edge of the U of T campus.
Surveillance images of the suspected feces attacker at a York University library. Toronto Police
Opoku is charged with five counts each of assault with a weapon and mischief interfere with property.
The strange case has captivated Toronto university campuses, inspiring memes about a horrifyingly novel concern at a time when most students are focused on preparing for final exams. As many as 100 people packed the court for Opoku’s first court appearance last week. This time only about a dozen people showed up, mostly journalists.
Opoku will return to Old City Hall Court on Dec. 18 at 11 a.m.
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