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A Toronto woman has been charged with attempted murder after she allegedly stabbed a stranger several times on a TTC streetcar, leaving him with what police are calling injuries incompatible with life.
Police arrived in the area of Spadina and Sussex avenues shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday to a call of a stabbing aboard a vehicle.
When they arrived, officers found a 23-year-old woman suffering from stab wounds to her head and face as a result of being stabbed “multiple times.” She was rushed to the hospital with “injuries incompatible with life,” police said.
The suspect, identified by police Wednesday as Leah Valdes, 43, was arrested at the scene and taken into custody.
She is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace and possession of a prohibited or restricted weapon knowing its possession is not permitted.
Breaking News Leah Valdez Toronto | Latest Shocking Facts
Valdes was due to appear in court in Toronto on Wednesday morning.
Police said Valdes and his alleged victim did not know each other.
There have been several violent, sometimes random, incidents at the TTC in recent months.
Speaking to reporters at the scene, Inspector Laurie Cranenburg said Toronto police are “aware that there are ongoing security issues at the TTC.”
“We are working to increase our presence in the system, but as others have said, we can’t be everywhere all the time,” Cranenburg said. “So we’re just asking people to continue to be aware of their surroundings and if they see something, to report it and then we will respond and investigate accordingly.”
Earlier this month, the TTC board voted to approve the proposed $2.38 billion budget, which includes, among other things, millions of dollars to hire new special agents to beef up security.
Meanwhile, the president of the Amalgamated Transport Union of Canada declared Wednesday that violent attacks on transportation networks across the country had reached “crisis levels” and called for a national task force to be convened to address the problem.
“The rise in violence is increasingly problematic….. Unfortunately, it is only a matter of time before these injuries become catastrophic and begin to claim lives. We must act now, not tomorrow,” stated John Di Nino, alluding to Tuesday’s stabbing, as well as the incident in which two TTC workers were chased into a subway station by a suspect with a syringe in his hands.
Di Nino added that the task force should include representatives from all levels of government and transit agencies across the country, and look at whether violence reduction training, tougher penalties, increased mental health funding, improved accommodation and a greater police presence could help prevent transit violence.
Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed Tuesday’s incident to contact them at 416-808-1400 or report anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477) or www.222tips.com.
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