A young man is being held in custody after appearing in a Toronto courtroom today in connection with multiple attacks across the city, including at two university campuses, involving feces being dumped over people.
Samuel Opoku, 23, made a brief appearance at the Toronto Court of Justice this afternoon for a preliminary bail hearing following his arrest yesterday evening.
Due to lack of sufficient information on the case, he will be held in custody and his bail hearing set for next Tuesday morning, the presiding judge decided.
The preliminary hearing was initially scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. today. A large crowd of media and more than 40 university students tried to squeeze into the basement courtroom, which has a seating capacity of about 15 visitors. The judge then moved the hearing to a much larger courtroom upstairs.
Jordan Weisz, Opoku’s defence attorney, made an appearance at 12:23 p.m. and requested a publication ban be imposed covering most of what occurred in court. The judge agreed.
Court resumed after lunch at 2:25 p.m. and Opoku was led handcuffed into the courtroom for the first time. He was dressed in a frayed jean jacket and grey pants, and once he got into the prisoners’ box in the centre of the room, he placed his head in his hands, and remained that way for the duration of the hearing.
After approximately 10 minutes of deliberations between the judge and Weisz, the decision was reached to move the bail hearing to next week. Weisz spoke to the accused for several minutes. The bailiff then ordered everyone out of the courtroom.
Opoku shuffled out of the courtroom, handcuffed and with his head down.
He is facing charges of five counts of assault with a weapon and five counts of mischief interfering with property.
University students at the hearing expressed relief the alleged fecal flinger was now behind bars.
Social media sites in Toronto have been buzzing this past weekend after reports of a man flinging fecal matter in public settings surfaced.
Last Friday a man allegedly entered Robarts Research Library at the University of Toronto, and threw liquified fecal matter on two people. Another incident was reported on Sunday at Scott Library at York University, when a man fitting the description of the previous attack, entered the library and threw a bucket’s contents, described as liquified fecal matter.
Many students expressed concern following the first two attacks, since they occurred on university property.
“I would look over my shoulder for a man carrying a pail,” said Samarah Abrahms, a law student at the University of Toronto said. “I cannot begin to imagine who could comprehend doing this to another human being.”
The most recent incident occurred Monday morning. A woman walking near College and McCaul street was approached by a man, who then proceeded to throw fecal matter on her from a bucket he had been carrying.
Opoku was apprehended by the Toronto Police at Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue on Tuesday evening at about 6 p.m.