Man accused in Toronto feces attacks makes 2nd brief court appearance. Lawyer says jail is not ‘appropriate place’ for him
|Toronto Star 03 Dec 2019 at 17:45|
The man accused of dumping buckets of “liquified fecal matter” on five people in a series of bizarre attacks in Toronto last week made a second brief appearance at a downtown court on Tuesday.
Samuel Opoku, 23, had been scheduled for a bail hearing at Old City Hall Tuesday morning, but that court date was pushed first into a larger hearing room in anticipation of crowds, then from courtroom to courtroom as several justices of the peace said they could not hear the case, and finally to a later date.
Opoku has remained in custody since he was arrested last week. He is facing five counts each of assault with a weapon and mischief.
A publication ban has been imposed on information presented in court, as is typical for bail hearings.
After a brief five-minute appearance, Opoku’s hearing was put over to a next scheduled date of Dec. 18, also at Old City Hall.
He appeared in court wearing a blue shirt, dark grey pants and blue and white sneakers. Like last week, he kept his head bowed down throughout.
Speaking to the media outside court, Opoku’s lawyer Jordan Weisz told reporters his client is “holding up,” but said “jail is not an appropriate place” for him.
Man, 23, arrested in alleged feces-throwing incidents
Weisz said that although he could not speak specifics about Opoku’s mental health, he said that anyone who allegedly throws feces at other people likely has a mental health issue or hold “strong animosity” towards the victims.
“It costs far more to jail the mentally ill than to treat them,” Weisz said, echoing statements he made last week.
Nevertheless, Weisz insisted his client is “fit to stand trial,” and said it’s “unfortunate” the scheduling is pushing court dates into the future.
“We’re looking to do this as soon as possible,” Weisz said.
Police arrested Opoku last Tuesday following three separate incidents in which police say a man attacked a total of five people with buckets containing “liquefied fecal matter.”
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Two of the incidents happened near the University of Toronto’s downtown campus, the first inside the John P. Robarts Library on Nov. 22, the second on the street shortly before midnight on Nov. 25.