A man has been charged after allegedly assaulting a 68-year-old crossing guard with a gardening tool in Ajax on Thursday.

The incident occurred at the intersection of Williamson Drive East and Salem Road North around 12:30 p.m.

In a news release issued Friday, police said that a suspect approached the victim and began to assault him with a gardening tool that featured a metal spade and fork.

“The victim was forced to the ground and violently attacked,” police said in the release.

According to investigators, bystanders who were driving by rushed to help the crossing guard. The suspect was held by the citizens until police arrived.

The crossing guard sustained serious injuries and was transported to the hospital.

Police say they believe the incident was unprovoked.

A suspect, identified only as a 26-year-old man from Ajax, has been charged with aggravated assault, possession of weapons dangerous to public peace and failing to comply with recognizance. He was taken to the hospital for a mental health assessment.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact police or reach out to Crime Stoppers anonymously.