(This story was reported in December 2014)
The last thing that anyone can imagine when looking at the row of luxury townhouses, would be a stabbing.
Some said the attack was a crime of passion, others said it was a business dispute. Whatever the reason, the Hsins are moving.
Their decision was made shortly after Nov. 13, when Ming-Chien [Teresa] Hsin, 59, the president of the Taiwan Merchants Association of Toronto, was stabbed multiple times in her underground parking garage on Shipp Drive in Mississauga, near Square One Shopping Centre.
According to Peel Regional Police, Hsin came home at around 11 p.m. and was approached by a masked suspect, as she was leaving her car near the back door of her parking garage. She was then stabbed in the chest several times before the suspect fled the scene. Her son, who was at home at the time, heard his mother banging on the door and yelling for help.
Hsin suffered from severe stab wounds and was transported to a Toronto trauma centre, where she is in critical but stable condition.
Peel Regional Police are still investigating the incident and do not have any suspects at this point. According to Cst. Thomas Ruttan, they are appealing to the public for witnesses.
“We are still looking for the public’s input in terms of suspects, anything that the public may have, even a little bit of information, could sometimes complete the puzzle for us,” he said in a phone interview.
According to Roker Lin, the former president of the Association and a close friend of Hsin, her wounds are now starting to heal but she is still very weak, due to a great deal of blood lost. He described Hsin as a kind and generous person, with a passion for her health and beauty business.
Reports from Mingpao Canada have implied Hsin has been having financial problems and trouble finding investors for her businesses, and that being president of the association was merely an ruse for Hsin to attract capital. There were even accusations of Hsin having an affair with a married businessman from Hong Kong.
But Lin denied these allegations.
“I couldn’t think of anyone that would want to harm her,” Lin said in a phone interview. “Some of us from the association asked her if she was in any financial trouble, but she said she never had any. Even any relationship problems, for that matter.”
However, Hsin confided in Lin that she felt she was being followed by someone three to four times prior to the attack. Hsin disregarded her hunch since she was not sure what to do about it.
“I cannot imagine the consequence if her son wasn’t home,” Lin said. “Right now, Teresa is just grateful that she is the victim, and not her son.”
The luxury townhouse property was developed by Beaverhall Homes, and the Shipp Place townhomes were sold starting from the high $700,000s. All 69 units were sold in 2010.
One can barely detect any signs of such a brutal crime between the bricks of the townhouses at Shipp Dr.
According to Hsin’s next-door neighbour, Sandra Sobolewski, who was watching television with her husband in the family room when the incident occurred, they did not hear any commotion.
“We saw flashing lights out front, then the ambulance, fire truck and the canine unit, along with 10 cop cars,” she said. “Then I saw our neighbour being taken out. She was wearing a neck brace.”
Sobolewski said she was very surprised to find out that it was a stabbing.
“It’s really disturbing. No one wants to think that something like that could happen to [him/her], or could happen so close to home,” she said.
The incident has certainly made Sobolewski “more aware”, constantly checking her surroundings when she uses the parking garage. She has also developed the habit of waving to her neighbours to create a safer community.
“It really is unsettling, but at the same time you don’t want to overplay that and buy into all that intense anxiety,” she said.
This is not the first crime that Shipp Place homeowners have encountered. According to Sobolewski, despite paying a monthly maintenance fee of around $300, there have been break-ins into cars, with back windows smashed in and items stolen. Another homeowner even had two cars stolen. He has now installed his own surveillance camera in the garage.
“My iPod was stolen twice out of my car,” Sobolewski said.
There have been discussions between the condo board and property management about increasing security measures, such as having more surveillance cameras installed in the parking garage, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
Regarding the residents’ personal safety, Const. Rutton advised them to walk in pairs if possible, and keep updating other people on their expected time of arrival.
“Be aware of your surroundings; beware of what people are doing. If you think that someone is suspicious, make the phone call. Don’t wait,” he said.