Toronto, Ontario – A man accused of throwing buckets of feces in a series of random attacks on five unsuspecting victims has been apprehended.
Samuel Opoku, 23, allegedly dumped buckets filled with “liquefied fecal matter” on the stunned victims during the attacks, VICE reported.
The first incident occurred at the University of Toronto’s Robarts Library at approximately 5:20 p.m. on Nov. 22.
Opoku entered the library carrying a bucket, then made his way over to two individuals who were sitting at a table.
He dumped the bucket of liquified feces on them, then fled the library on foot, CP24 reported.
A witness said that the “concentrated feces-like smell” within the library was overpowering, according to VICE.
Opoku struck again on Nov. 24, when he waltzed into Scott Library on Keele Street and poured “liquified fecal matter” onto a man and a woman, Toronto police said in a press release.
Another attack occurred outside the University of Toronto sometime around midnight on Nov. 25, the New York Post reported.
“A young girl had a bucket of waste, feces, dumped on her,” Toronto Police Constable David Hopkinson said, according to the paper. “I don’t know what to say, I’m at a loss, this is absolutely disgusting.”
Toronto police were able to identify Opoku as the attacker, and apprehended him in the area of Spadina Avenue and Queen Street West at approximately 6 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the press release.
He has been charged with five counts of mischief interfere with property and five counts of assault with a weapon.
Investigators said they are still trying to establish a motive for the attacks, CP24 reported.
Police said that although the five victims are all Asian, the attacks did not appear to be racially motivated, according to the New York Post.
“We don’t know if that’s the connection, because we have different parts of Asia in there,” Toronto Police spokesperson Victor Kwong explained. “Some [of the victims] were from the west side, some from the east side — so it’s not like they were all Chinese, per se.”
The bucket seized from Opoku at the time of his arrest has been sent in for forensic testing to determine whether the contents inside were actually human feces.
“It was feces,” Toronto Police Constable Allyson Douglas-Cook told the Calgary Herald. “But we don’t know if it is, in fact, human feces.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory praised local law enforcement for apprehending Opoku.
“Great work by @TorontoPolice arresting an individual in the ‘feces attacks’ investigation,” Tory tweeted late Tuesday night. “He can’t face justice or be given help until apprehended and it seems our police have that in hand. I hope this arrest will help calm concern on campuses and across the city.”
Opoku was ordered to be held in jail until his bail hearing on Dec. 3, the National Post reported.
His attorney, Jordan Weisz, said that Opoku is overwhelmed and shocked by the charges, and claimed that the public does not know the full story about what occurred.
“It’s not a pleasant situation to be sitting in a courtroom with the public scrutiny he’s currently having to endure,” Weisz told the National Post. “It’s obviously overwhelming, as it would be for anybody.”
According to Toronto General Hospital infectious diseases specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch, most people’s immune systems are well-equipped to fight off the bacteria that thrives in feces, the New York Times reported.
“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,” Bogoch said.