Pro-life Demonstrator Assaulted by Knife-Wielding Man at Toronto LifeChain

UPDATED AT 7:00PM: Life Site News is reporting Detective Remo D’antonio of the Toronto Police Service is confirming Michael Panagapko of Toronto has been arrested and charged with three counts of assault, one count of assault with a weapon, and one count of wielding a dangerous weapon.

TORONTO, October 9, 2013 ( Toronto woman has been discharged from hospital and is recovering from her injuries after a knife-wielding man allegedly assaulted her at a pro-life demonstration on Sunday afternoon.

As in previous years, Faye Arellano, a mother of two children, gladly helped coordinate a LifeChain just outside Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in Toronto. This year, however, was unlike her previous experiences. The normally silent, peaceful and prayerful pro-life demonstration turned violent when an unknown passerby suddenly attacked Ms. Arellano as she was crossing the street to speak with participants.

The alleged attacker followed Ms. Arellano and proceeded to throw the contents of his water bottle in her face, followed by the bottle itself. The alleged assailant then grabbed Ms. Arellano by her hair, threw her to the ground, and proceeded to kick and punch her repeatedly. During the alleged battery, Ms. Arellano screamed for someone to notify the police. 
File photo courtesy of The Interim

Speaking with Ms. Arellano today, who is recovering from her injuries, she said she instinctively knew to cover her head, close her eyes and block the blows. When her alleged attacker stopped and tried to walk away, Ms. Arellano grabbed his jacket to prevent him from escaping. “I didn’t want him get away. The police were going to come and I had to keep him there.” At that point, the alleged assailant drew an estimated 6-inch knife from his jacket and tried to attack with his weapon. Thankfully, another man who happened to be walking by shielded Ms. Arellano and the alleged attacker lost interest.  Upon police arrival on scene, the alleged attacker went to an adjacent alleyway and hid his knife. He was then apprehended by police. Ms. Arellano then disclosed to police that her alleged attacker hid his knife in the alleyway.

While in police custody at the scene of the alleged assault, the alleged assailant attempted to once again lunge at the victim.

“In Canada, I never thought I’d be a victim of violence while standing up for the unborn,” Ms. Arellano shared. Despite the trauma of the alleged attack, Ms. Arellano’s commitment to the pro-life cause hasn’t been dampened. “The pain, the violence, and the disregard for human life is so real. It shouldn’t happen to any human being, no matter what stage of development you are in.”

The alleged assailant has been apprehended and charged with assault with a weapon.The alleged attacker has been ordered to stay at least 500 metres from Ms. Arellano and from the mid-town Toronto intersection where the attack occurred.

This is not the first of such attacks on pro-lifers in Toronto. In July, Alissa Golob of Campaign Life Coalition was attacked by a pub owner while chalking pro-life slogans on the sidewalk.