TORONTO (Jul. 14)
A 48-year-old Jewish father of six was fatally stabbed here this week as he helped his son fix a flat tire.
According to police, David Rosenzweig — a Chasidic man who was wearing a skullcap — was approached from behind by two men and a woman early Sunday morning.
After one of the men stabbed him in the back, all three assailants fled the scene.
The murder occurred outside the King David Pizzeria, within a block of one of the main intersections of Toronto’s Jewish community.
The men were described as skinheads.
According to a police media relations officer, Sgt. Jim Muscat, the police have one man in their possession, but are currently treating him as a witness rather than a suspect.
Police are seeking a Canada-wide warrant for Christopher Steven McBride, 20, on a charge of first degree murder.
The female suspect has been identified as Mercedes or Sylvia Asante, 19. She is wanted for questioning, but is “not facing charges at this point,” according to a police statement.
Toronto police said they are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
The main suspect and his associates were involved in an earlier altercation with the owner of the pizzeria, who threw them out of the store, police said.
The owner, David Chazan, told the Jerusalem Post they “looked like they were out for a fight,” but added that “nothing they said was anti-Semitic.”
One of the men produced a knife outside the restaurant, where Rosenzweig, an accountant, was fixing the car.
He had come to the scene in response to a call from his son for help with a flat tire. He had not been inside the pizzeria.
“Mr. Rosenzweig was outside the store on the street, basically an innocent bystander, and one of the men stabbed him in the back,” Muscat said.
He “was basically in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Police Chief Julian Fantino said at a news conference.
Fantino called the city’s 16th murder of the year a “heinous and cowardly deed.”
Police have been in close communication with officials of the Canadian Jewish Congress.
Congress officials expressed confidence that the police will apprehend the perpetrator and have pledged to assist the investigation in any way possible.
The group also extended its deepest condolences to the family of the slain man.
“The community is still in a state of shock and trauma,” said Ed Morgan, chair of the Ontario region of the congress.