Public school teacher, York U academics among those arrested in antisemitic property attack
Public school teacher, York U academics among those arrested in antisemitic property attack

The Toronto Police Service Hate Crime Unit has arrested eleven individuals in connection with an alleged antisemitic property attack targeting an Indigo book store on the Bay Street and Bloor Street West area. 

The suspects include a public school teacher and faculty from York University.

In the early hours of Nov. 10, a group of suspects targeted the Indigo and its Jewish founder Heather Reisman. 

The perpetrators glued antisemitic posters to the doors and windows of the business before pouring red paint on the windows and sidewalk. The incident was denounced by the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) as a “vile antisemitic attack.”

“Sadly, this is the tragic, new reality for Jews today in Canada and around the world which requires more than just condemnations from government leaders,” said FSWC president and CEO Michael Levitt. 

Among those arrested were academics and a primary school teacher in the Toronto area. 

Nisha Toomey, a 41-year-old Toronto resident and a post-doctoral York University researcher specializing in migration and critical studies, was arrested by police and faces charges of Mischief Over $5,000 and is scheduled to appear in court at the Ontario Court of Justice Jan. 8.

Sharmeen Khan, 45, a financial coordinator at CUPE 3903, was charged with Mischief Over $5,000 and Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence. She is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 18.

Lesley Wood, 56, associate professor at York University, was charged with Mischief Over $5,000 and Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence. She has a court appearances scheduled for Jan. 19.

Macdonald Scott, 56, who is listed as an immigration consultant with Carranza LLP faces charges of Mischief Over $5000 and Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence. His court appearance is set for January 19, 2024. True North reached out to Carranza LLP and Scott to request a response to the charges.

Carranza LLP refused to comment on the charges and would not confirm whether or not Scott was an employee at the firm. 

Suzanne Narain, 38, a primary teacher at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), faces charges of Mischief Over $5,000 and Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence. Her court appearance is set for Jan. 15.

True North reached out to Toomey, Khan, Scott, Wood and Narain to request comment and a response to the charges. Additionally, the TDSB and York University were also contacted for an opportunity to comment. 

The TDSB’s employee directory told True North that Narain was listed as “inactive” and was not currently teaching at the school. Follow up questions about when Narain stopped teaching with the TDSB went unanswered. 

“Unfortunately we cannot provide any information… Actually she’s not anymore, she’s inactive. She’s not working, she’s not active with us anymore,” said the TDSB’s employee directory. 

The arrests were made as a result of search warrants on the accused’s residences and vehicles. 

A full list of those charged is available below: 

  • Sharmeen Khan, 45, of Toronto
  • MacDonald Scott, 56, of Toronto
  • Mercedes Lee, 44, of Toronto
  • Suzanne Narain, 38, of Toronto
  • Lesley Wood, 56, of Toronto
  • Sarom Rho, 29, of Toronto
  • Ian Doty, 43, of Toronto
  • Stuart Schussler, 39, of Toronto
  • Karl Sebastian Gardner, 33, of Toronto
  • Clement Cheng, 26, of Toronto
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