American faces four charges after Toronto machete attack

TORONTO – A 35-year-old American man will be spending Christmas Eve in a Toronto jail after what police are describing as an unprovoked machete attack.

Arlington Thompson of Queens, N.Y., appeared in court Thursday morning wearing a red hoodie and blue jeans. He said only his name and thank you after the brief appearance.

He was remanded into custody, with a hearing set for Dec. 30.

Thompson is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and possession of a dangerous weapon after Wednesday’s incident, which took place late afternoon near the city’s bustling Eaton Centre shopping mall.

A 30-year-old man sustained injuries to his head and leg, which police described as serious but not life-threatening. They said they believed the attack was unprovoked.

Dramatic video captured at the scene of the alleged attack shows the efforts of local security guards to contain the situation. Footage shows them tackling a man and pinning him to the ground where he remained until police arrived a few minutes later.

Toronto Police Sgt. Dale Corra offered praise for the teamwork that kept the situation from turning deadly.

He lauded the city’s business community and local residents for working with police.

“There was a perilous situation here where citizens remained – very smartly and vigilantly – on the outside of the perimeter, and then approached the officers afterwards when things were safe to add in what they saw,” Corra said.

The security team’s conduct also won praise from their boss Mike Soberal, who is in charge of security at the building closest to where the incident took place.

Describing their response as “textbook,” Soberal said he was “very happy” with the way staff reacted.

Police said they’re still seeking any witnesses to the alleged attack.

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