Toronto man charged with attempted murder after woman set on fire on TTC bus

A Toronto man has been arrested after a woman was lit on fire on a TTC bus on Friday, in what police now describe as an alleged “hate-motivated” murder attempt.

Tenzin Norbu, 33, is charged with attempted murder, assault with a weapon, common nuisance and mischief. He is scheduled to appear in court at 2201 Finch Ave. W. on Monday morning.

The attack occurred near Kipling Station in Toronto’s west end around 12:23 pm

in to press release issued Sunday evening, police reported a man on a TTC bus poured a flammable liquid on a woman on the same bus, before igniting it. The man fled the scene, but was located nearby and arrested, police said. On Friday police had reported the man’s age as 35 but Sunday it was clarified as 33.

The woman, who is in her 20s, was helped by TTC employees, bystanders, firefighters, police and TTC special constables, before she was rushed by ambulance to hospital. At the time of the incident, police said in a tweet the victim was suffering “critical burn-related injuries.”

TTC CEO Rick Leary told CP24 on Friday afternoon that the woman was in “serious condition.”

Shortly after the attack, a TTC employee called transit control, saying there had been a fire on bus #8062.

“I have a female. She has, possibly, second-degree burns,” the employee says, in a recording of the call obtained by the Star. The victim is conscious and breathing, the caller says, and the fire is out.

“There was a male that set the fire to the female.”

in to statement Friday, Leary said the TTC was “shocked” by the attack. “Our thoughts are with the victim for a full recovery.”

In Sunday’s release, police said this is “believed to be an isolated incident” with no ongoing concern to the public.

“After consultation with the Service’s specialized Hate Crime Unit, the investigation is being treated as a suspected hate-motivated offense,” the release said.

The attack comes after a rash of violent incidents that have recently occurred on Toronto’s transit system. In April, unions representing the city’s transit workers called on the TTC to increase the number of officers patrolling its stations after a man was stabbed in the neck while standing on the platform at St. George station.

That stabbing took place just days after a 39-year-old woman was pushed onto the tracks at Bloor-Yonge station.

In the same month, a 21-year-old man was shot dead outside Sherbourne station in what police described as a random attack.

With files by Aisling Murphy and Brendan Kennedy


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