A teenager will appear in youth court on Friday in connection with a pair of videos that outraged people who saw them. n one of the two videos posted to Facebook, the man, who police said is under 18-years-old, can be seen sitting across a table from what appears to be a homeless man in a fast food restaurant.
After asking a friend if they’re recording, the young man attempts to pour a beverage onto the homeless person, who slaps the cup away.
In the other video, the man is seen approaching the same homeless person sitting on a bench and quickly slapping them across the face.
The two videos have garnered over 100,000 views online since being posted on Wednesday.
The SPVM said their unit specializing in the homeless was able to locate the victim.
“We did manage to see the victim, a man in his 70s, and with the information we gathered and the description police were on the lookout for the suspect,” said Andre Leclerc.
That suspect was arrested Thursday and is expected to be charged with assault and other crimes.
Old Brewery Mission President and CEO Matthew Pearce called the videos “outrageous.”
“These kinds of young people, that project that kind of insensitivity, I wonder whether they’re going to be able to grow up and fit into our society, or if they’re going to come to the Old Brewery Mission because they weren’t able to fit in, they just didn’t have the skills to adapt to our community,” he said.
One homeless man said the video didn’t surprise him.
“This is normal, I see worse than this every day,” he said.
In June, a similar video in which a man named Francis Gauthier was seen throwing a drink on a homeless man on St. Laurent Blvd. went viral. Gauthier later apologized.
“I hope the earlier one didn’t inspire this one because I don’t think of those things as inspiring,” said Pearce. “I don’t want to think anyone would react other than with outrage by seeing it.”
Pearce said anyone considering attacking the homeless should learn compassion.
“I think he should come here to the Old Brewery Mission and give us a few hours and he’ll learn how hard it is to be homeless and how thankless it is and maybe he’ll change the way he sees homeless people and the people who share our streets,” said Pearce.