‘It burned,’ Toronto mother says of corrosive material hurled at family and stroller
Published Tuesday, June 11, 2019 7:48AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 11, 2019 7:58PM EDT
A Toronto mom said she was shocked and horrified after a man threw a bleach-like substance at her family, including her newborn child, last Thursday afternoon.
"The thing that makes me the most upset is thinking about the 'what ifs.' What if he got bleach in our baby's eyes or mouth?”
The woman, who doesn't want to be named, told CTV News Toronto that she and her husband were walking with their dog and seven-month-old son last Thursday afternoon when the attack occurred. She said they had stopped to look up listing details of a house on Clinton Street with a 'for sale' sign on the lawn when a man came into view.
"I'm not quite sure what he was saying. He was incoherent,” the woman said. “But we realized he was saying something in our direction."
The couple started to walk away, heading toward Bloor Street West.
"And then, just moments later, he was coming at us on a bike and tossing that substance at us."
The woman said the man threw a corrosive liquid toward them before taking off on his bicycle. Her husband took the bulk of material on his back and side, but she and her child were also splashed.
"It burned," she said. "I got a little bit in my eye, on my face, on my arm. The baby got his shorts and his shoes and his leg -- his bare leg -- his leg was exposed and that got splashed."
Alex McMinniman works in a nearby restaurant and was taking a break around 4:30 p.m. when she heard the yelling.
"They seemed very upset," says McMinniman. "My boss had went to get them water and a cloth so they could wipe it off and he had told me that someone threw Drano at them, their baby and their dog, and they were just trying to clean it off."
The mother said that the family experienced discomfort, but they were able to get the substance off quickly and no one was injured.
The couple called police and three days later, a suspect identified as Massimo Ionno was arrested.
The 45-year-old has been charged with three counts of assault with a weapon, three counts of public mischief, and one count of administering a noxious substance. The charges have not been proven in court.
When she reflects back on what happened, the Toronto mom says she is "really upset.”
“I can't imagine anyone would do this to a baby,” she said. “I can't imagine anyone doing this to another human being, but especially not a baby."
Iono appeared at the Old City Hall Courthouse today, but his case was put over until June 12.