"I think there’s a lot of rage in the community about this, and I don’t think anyone would have a problem stepping forward and providing the information that we need to make an arrest," Toronto police Det. Kirby Reddin said in an news conference on Wednesday.
The 27-second video shows a young man walking up to a person sleeping on the pavement outside the shopping centre.
The man urinates on the sleeping man while others can be heard laughing off-camera. The victim — who may be homeless — does not react.
Reddin said by looking at the display in the mall window police were able to determine the incident took place sometime between Nov. 17 and Dec. 1 last year at the corner of Yonge and Dundas streets.
Police would like the public's help to name both the apparent attacker and the victim. "We need to speak with the victim," Reddin said. "We need a statement from them to proceed to court.”
Police describe the suspect as black, between 18 and 25, with an average height and build and black hair tied back.
He was wearing a grey baseball cap with a dark brim, a grey jacket with black sleeves, baggy blue jeans with a blue pattern on the right back pocket and a red pattern on the left rear pocket.
The video, posted on World Star Hip Hop, is titled "Real Or Fake? Cold-Hearted Thug Urinates on Sleeping Homeless Man in Downtown Toronto!" Police had not yet contacted the website as of mid-afternoon Wednesday.
Nurse recognizes victim
Anne Marie Batten, a nurse who works with homeless people at drop-in centres, said she did not know the name of the victim but recognized his face.
She said she hoped at first that the video was a fake, but decided it was real when she noticed a religious pamphlet that was with the victim.
“That pamphlet is a religious pamphlet about belief and hope and a better life, so it’s really terribly tragic and ironic that that’s where the man was lying,” she said.
Batten said that there is some fear in the community now that the video has been posted, and that it may be difficult to identify the victim because many homeless people would rather stay unknown.
World Star Hip Hop is the same site that hosted a video last year of three girls attacking an older woman on Yonge Street.
Three teens involved in an altercation with a 35-year-old woman near Yonge and Dundas are shown punching and kicking her as she curls up on the ground.
The entire confrontation was recorded and posted on the internet.
The teens were arrested a short time later.