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Anthony Furey: Family in My Car Faces Unprovoked Attack – The Situation is Escalating

A few days ago, my family and I were heading home from being out at someone’s house for dinner when our vehicle was randomly attacked.


A few days ago, my family and I were heading home from being out at someone’s house for dinner when our vehicle was randomly attacked.

I stopped for gas not far from home. My wife and kids stayed in the minivan. As I finished with the gas and began washing the front windshield, I became vaguely aware of a man yelling and screaming not far from us on the sidewalk.

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I say “vaguely” aware because this is Toronto. It’s a common occurrence for a troubled person to wander by hurling swear words. But you can tune it out because they usually keep to themselves. Not this time.

I only fully began paying attention to the man when I realized he was moving towards me. By this point, I was already getting back in the van. He kept coming, though.

The guy was looking at me through the windshield, making eye contact, and he was not happy. He was yelling all sorts of random abuse. (I’m certain I was not personally targeted.)

I made sure the windows were up and the doors were locked. They were. I still wasn’t too bothered because I knew my family was safe.

But then things ratcheted up. The guy started attacking our vehicle, aggressively hitting and smacking it.

He was very close to the car so I was worried about hitting him if I drove away fast. We used to live at the base of Sherbourne Street, in a nice building. Further north though, the street is known for the many drug addicts and mentally ill people who roam about.

People regularly jump out into the street in front of cars. Driving up and down Sherbourne, I’m always nervous about hitting someone through no fault of my own.

As I slowly drove away, the man started walking after us. Then, as I sped up, he sped up. We got out of the gas station lot and onto the street and, as I could see in the rearview mirror, he was now chasing us down the street.

We got further away and, I could see, he eventually gave up and moved back onto the sidewalk.

That’s the end of the story and in many ways it’s a fairly boring one because, thankfully, not much really happened. A guy attacked our car and no one was hurt and nothing was damaged—although I’m definitely glad he didn’t have a weapon on him.

But here’s the thing: These sorts of incidents are happening more and more, and they’re getting more intense.

I said that I was used to people yelling on the streets, either due to mental problems or addiction issues, but for the most part that happens downtown. I’m not used to it happening in the east end, where I now live. But we see more mentally ill people roaming about this area now. And we see more needles in the park here, which used to be almost exclusively a downtown concern.

When I shared my story on social media, people got in touch to tell me about similar experiences that had recently happened to them. And, again, their sense was things were getting worse. Troubled people chasing them, throwing things at them, or taking a swing at them.

The other year, a friend and I were eating at a fast food place on King Street when a street person started taking newspaper boxes and hurling them violently around the street and sidewalk, narrowly missing a couple of people. Someone could have been seriously hurt, so we called the police.

Officers came and we spoke to them after they put the guy in the back of their car. They said they understood why we’d phoned it in but that it was basically pointless. He’d be sent to a hospital and then soon released. They’d encounter him again later in the week or even the same night.

There’s a lot that can be said and is said about public policy solutions when it comes to these situations. But it’s also important to share our stories and tell each other about what’s really happening on the streets and in our communities.

Because whatever it is that’s the cause of what’s happening out there and whatever the solutions prove to be, we first have to acknowledge that we have a problem and that things are getting worse.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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