News agency PTI said on Thursday that authorities in Canada evacuated hundreds of moviegoers from Peel, Toronto, and York districts of Greater Toronto earlier this week after some hooded individuals sprayed an unknown substance at theaters playing Hindi movies.
Although some of the moviegoers received treatment for exposure to the unknown drug, no significant injuries were reported in the occurrences, according to the report.
One such instance, according to York Regional Police, occurred at a Vaughan movie theater on Tuesday at approximately 9:20 p.m.
“Several movie-goers started coughing after two men in masks sprayed an ‘unknown, aerosol-based, irritating substance into the air’ at the movie theatre in Vaughan Tuesday night”, York Regional Police mentioned further adding “around 200 people were inside the theatre, and were watching a Hindi movie”.
The theater had to be evacuated after the incident, and a number of attendees received treatment for exposure to the unidentified irritating material. The culprits, according to the detectives, were able to escape before the police arrived.
When the investigators released information about the suspects, they indicated that the first was a black male with light skin, and the second was a brown man with light skin.
“Coincidentally, they took place all within less than three hours on the same evening,” a York police officer averred.
“So we are certainly looking into the possibility that these incidents are linked”, he further added.
The Peel police stated: “It is unknown at this time if any other incidents are connected but our investigators are aware of those incidents that took place in York Region and Toronto.”
A comparable event at a theater in Scarborough Town Centre was also verified by Toronto police. No injuries were recorded when the police left the theater.
When asked if hate crimes were being investigated in relation to the incidents, a local police officer responded, “There is no obvious indication that this is a hate-motivated crime, but we have notified our Hate Crime Prevention Unit as a precaution and they will be involved in the investigation.”