A man in his 20s roundhouse kicked a woman in her 20s while discussing abortion during a LifeChain demonstration in Toronto.
On LifeChain Sunday, Sept. 30, CLC Youth Coordinator was assaulted by a self-described male feminist for holding a sign against abortion and engaging with the man who was sporting a purple sweatshirt, multiple facial piercings, and a pentagram necklace.
Marie-Claire Bissonnette, 27, took part in the annual witness at the intersection of Bloor and Keele in Toronto. Bissonnette and 75 others quietly held signs that said, “Abortion Hurts Women”, “Abortion Kills Children,” “Adoption, the Loving Option,” and “Life, We Stand On Guard For Thee.”
A man, later identified as Jordan Hunt, 26, brought magic markers and defaced two of the signs and scribbled on the jacket backs of two pro-lifers. After the acts of vandalism, Hunt engaged a female pro-abortion activist, who appeared to discourage his aggressive tactics.
He turned to talk to Bissonnette, who had taken out her cell phone to video record the incident. Hunt asked her whether a teenager who gets raped should keep her baby. She tried to explain the pro-life position, but he interrupted her explanation when he roundhouse-kicked her in the shoulder, knocking the phone out of Bissonnette’s hands.
Hunt immediately told Bissonnette he did not mean to kick her, only her phone. Another pro-lifer at LifeChain called 9-1-1 and the police arrived after Hunt fled the scene.
Bissonnette told The Interim the police did not appear to take the complaint seriously at first, with the officers not even leaving the car to talk to her or the other witnesses to the violence. One officer asked her, “What do you want us to do about it?” They indicated it was not worth pursuing because Bissonnette would have to appear in court, the assailant was not likely to be found, and he probably would not be severely punished because it was not a “serious case of assault.”
After returning home and thinking about it, Bissonnette did file a complaint. She also wrote a first-person account of the assault for LifeSiteNews and posted the accompanying video online.
The story went viral. Every major Canadian outlet, except the CBC, covered the assault, as well as American news media such as Fox News, Newsweek, and the Washington Post.
With video of the assault going viral – the LifeSite version of the video was viewed more than 7 million times when The Interimwent to press – the assailant was soon identified as Hunt and he turned himself in. Noble Studio 101, a hair salon, fired him after the publicity, posting a statement on Instagram: “It has been brought to our attention that Jordan Hunt has been caught on camera assaulting an innocent bystander at a pro-life rally. We don’t condone his actions and he has been let go … Everybody has their own opinion and different ways of thinking, but violence is not the answer. He won’t be stepping his foot through the door again.”
Hunt was charged with eight counts of assault and seven counts of mischief under $5,000.
Following an investigation into a separate incident, he was also charged with one count of assault for an alleged assault on August 2 against pro-lifers taking part in a demonstration near Dufferin and Dundas streets. In that attack, he grabbed a protester’s sign and pushed a woman into a pole, before fleeing.
Hunt was released from police custody Oct. 6, on $500 bail. His bail conditions also forbid Hunt from being within 500 meters of any “organized pro-life demonstration,” and contacting or being within 200 meters of ten named individuals, most of whom were involved in the LifeChain incident.
His first court appearance is scheduled for November 14 at Old City Hall courthouse in Toronto.