FSWC Calls for Community Vigilance Following Release of Violent Hate Criminal

July 20, 2022

Media Release

Toronto (July 20, 2022) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is deeply concerned over a judge's release of a Toronto man guilty of committing violent antisemitic attacks and is calling for heightened community vigilance.

Yesterday, a Toronto judge sentenced Michael Park to 36 months of probation and time served after he pleaded guilty to three charges of hate-motivated assault. Park was charged last year after physically assaulting three individuals, including members of the Jewish community, bearing a swastika on his chest and yelling antisemitic slurs.

Last July, Park was seen walking in Toronto’s Stanley Park with a swastika drawn on his chest before reportedly yelling “Heil Hitler” at a Jewish woman and calling her a “dirty Jew.” He then proceeded to assault an individual by throwing an object at them.

Four days later, he again was seen with a swastika drawn on his chest. He screamed antisemitic slurs at a group of Jewish women before assaulting a man who confronted him.

The third incident took place at a Toronto subway station where he approached a woman, asking if she was Jewish, after which he performed the Nazi salute and committed an assault.

Park was released immediately following the first two incidents before being denied bail following the third incident.

Ahead of the court hearing, FSWC Director of Policy Jaime Kirzner-Roberts submitted to the Crown a community impact statement in which she described how Park’s actions impacted Toronto's Jewish community amid rising antisemitism and how his release represents a serious threat to the safety of the community. She also called on the Crown to request a parole condition that would require Park to stay 100 metres away from Jewish institutions.

Yesterday, the judge agreed to restrict Park from attending or being within 10 metres of "any synagogues, Jewish schools, and yeshivas, Jewish cemeteries, Jewish community centres, and Jewish community organizations."

Other conditions included no possession of weapons and no possession or consumption of cannabis or unlawful drugs or substances.

In response to the court's decision, FSWC Director of Policy Jaime Kirzner-Roberts issued the following statement:

"It’s incredibly shocking and disheartening that our justice system would release such a violent individual, who has demonstrated no evidence of remorse and has a clear hatred toward Jews, back into society without any clear plan to protect the Jewish community at large. All the assaults Park committed occurred in public places, and there is a high risk he will re-offend. We commend the Crown prosecutor and the Toronto Police Service and its Hate Crime Unit, which have been extremely responsive to the incidents and the community’s concerns, but the final decision by the court is very unsettling. As Toronto’s Jewish community remains the most targeted group when it comes to hate crimes, it’s extremely important for our legal system to enact measures that will protect Jews and all minority groups from violent attacks.”


FSWC advises members of the Jewish community to exercise vigilance and to contact the Toronto Police Service immediately if Park is seen coming within 10 metres of a Jewish institution or committing an offence.

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