A Ghanaian man in Canada’s most populous city – Toronto – is accused of having formed the bizarre habit of throwing faecal matter on unsuspecting people.
Toronto Police is unclear what Samuel Opoku’s motivation is, especially when they are yet to see a pattern.
The 23-year-old has meanwhile been arrested and charged with five counts of assault with a weapon. He has also been charged with five counts of mischief interfering with property for allegedly throwing buckets of faecal matter at five people in three separate attacks. Investigators say Opoku was arrested Tuesday night in the downtown area and faces a judge Wednesday.
Opoku is said to have thrown liquefied faecal matter on a woman and a young person on Friday at the John P. Robarts Research Library, on a man and a woman at the Scott Library on Sunday and at a woman on Monday.
“It’s so bizarre,” Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook said in a phone interview.
“You can imagine the questions, and we’re just as confused as everyone — and just as determined to try to put an end to this. Because it’s just absolutely horrible and disgusting and confusing.”
She said a man in a yellow construction hat and dark blue jacket allegedly walked up to a woman and poured a bucket of liquefied faecal matter over her before running away.
The alleged assault closely mirrored two previous attacks that unfolded on separate university campuses.
“I’m not seeing any consistency with any one group being targeted, and that includes gender or race or anything at this point,” Douglas-Cook said.
Toronto Mayor John Tory called the alleged assaults “inexplicable” and urged the public to co-operate in helping police close the case.
“I just hope that people support the police in trying to track this person down,” Tory said at a press conference. “This is a person, to me, who has some very serious issues.”
Despite Opoku’s grave acts, Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infections diseases specialist at Toronto General Hospital, allayed the fears of the public submitting while faecal matter teems with bacteria, the human immune system is well-equipped to neutralize any contact with the substance, adding “Once in a while a pathogen can slip past the goalie and cause an infection, but certainly if someone had an exposure like this the risk is still very, very low.”
Forensic investigators have retrieved the bucket Opoku used during the most recent incident, hoping it can give them clues to what was really happening.