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Ontario man charged with uttering death threats against protesters outside Toronto hospital: police

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Toronto police have charged an Ontario man who allegedly threatened to harm protesters outside of a downtown hospital earlier this week.

In a news release issued Saturday, police said the accused called them on Feb. 14 to “express frustration” towards people demonstrating in front of a Toronto hospital, which they did not name.

Police allege that the accused, a man from Ontario’s Simcoe County, threatened to attend the hospital to harm the demonstrators.

Paul Scoffield, 49, has been charged with uttering death threats, Toronto police said in a statement.

Scoffield was scheduled to appear in a Toronto courtroom on Friday to answer for the charge. The result of his court appearance was not released.

In an email to CTV News Toronto, police confirmed that they received the call two days after a demonstration took place outside Mount Sinai.

The Monday protest at the historically Jewish hospital saw some demonstrators climbing the scaffolding and waving pro-Palestinian flags in an incident Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called a "reprehensible" display of antisemitism.

Police have since launched an investigation into that incident.

Protest organizers told CTV News Toronto earlier this week that the hospital was not targeted and “just happens” to be along their “regular rally route."

Toronto police have ramped up their presence along the city’s so called hospital row along University Avenue following the protest.

In a statement released earlier this week, police said: “Interfering with the operations of a hospital is not acceptable.”

“As we have said before, officers use their discretion during large crowd demonstrations and even if arrests are not deemed safe to make at the time, investigations will continue and charges can be laid at a later date,” the statement read. 

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