Montreal man accused of uttering threats and inciting hatred

Montrealer faces online hate and threat charges

MONTREAL — A Montreal man was charged Wednesday with uttering threats online and inciting hatred as authorities said they were dealing with more hate-related complaints since Sunday’s mass killing at a mosque.

Antonio Padula, 45, was arraigned after being arrested Tuesday night at his residence in Kirkland, a suburb on Montreal’s west island.

The Crown opposed his release and he will return to court Thursday for a bail hearing.

Padula’s arrest came just days after a gunman killed six men and wounded several others as they attended prayer at a Quebec City mosque.

The charges filed in court state the alleged comments and threats were made sometime on Tuesday.

Padula, wearing a Juventus jersey, appeared by video and seemed shocked as the Crown opposed his release.

The prosecution asked Padula to be seen by a psycho-social care worker before his bail hearing.

“We can’t do that now?,” Padula asked the court, clearly shaken.

“I’m not going to handle a night over here,” he told Quebec court Judge Denis Mondor.

The judge replied, “We’ll take care of you, sir,” before asking jail guards to take care of him.

The charge of public incitement of hatred carries a maximum of two years in prison, while uttering threats has a maximum five-year sentence.

Montreal police said Quebec provincial police told them about the comments.

The chief spokesman for the provincial force, which probes online threats, took to Twitter on Tuesday to remind users their posts can lead to criminal charges.

“Threatening or hate propaganda on social media, regardless of intention (humour), can be criminal,” said Capt. Guy Lapointe.

“The inhibitions are less present behind a keyboard,” he said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, provincial police had received nearly 175 complaints brought to their attention since Sunday.

In addition to stepping up patrols around places of worship, Montreal police Chief Philippe Pichet told reporters Tuesday the force has also seen a spike in the number of reports of hate crimes since the mosque attack.

Last May, Montreal police created a hate-crimes unit to probe such complaints.

On Wednesday, the head of Montreal’s anti-radicalization centre told the city’s executive committee it had received 24 calls since Sunday, including 10 related to Islamophobia and four related to the extreme right.

Herman Deparice-Okomba said four of those cases were transferred to police.

“It (24) is an enormous number in 72 hours,” he said.

Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story; a previous version said the accused was 47 and was based on police information

Just Posted

Vibrations of Hope raises $2,000 for Kelowna Women’s Shelter

A local female driven event succeeds in inaugural year

Big White announces new Slopestyle Invitational

The only North American Gold Level event begins July 5

An evening of burlesque, poetry and mystery descends on Kelowna

The Poetry Elf creates an immersive event that isn’t a typical burlesque

Last chance for input on proposed Kelowna bike lanes

The lanes, slated for Sutherland Avenue, could be built next year

Okanagan Lake not rising as fast as before: River Forecast Centre

Similkameen River flood risk shifts to rainfall, not snowpack

MLA pushing province and pharmaceutical to save Vernon woman

Cystic fibrosis patient can’t afford $20,000/month medication she needs to survive

Woman’s death near Tofino prompts warning about ‘unpredictable’ ocean

Ann Wittenberg was visiting Tofino for her daughter Victoria Emon’s wedding

B.C. man facing deportation says terror accusation left him traumatized

Othman Hamdan was acquitted of terrorism-related charges by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in September

Will Taylor Swift’s high concert ticket prices stop scalpers?

Move by artist comes as B.C. looks to how to regulate scalpers and bots reselling concert tickets

36 fires sparked May long weekend, most due to lightning: BC Wildfire

As warmer weather nears, chief fire officer Kevin Skrepnek says too soon to forecast summer

Ariana Grande sends message of hope on anniversary of Manchester bombing

Prince William joins survivors and emergency workers for remembrance service

Sun Devils second at Kamloops tournament

Kelowna bounces back from 0-2 start to reach the final of River City Classic

Pipeline more important than premiers meeting: Notley

“Canada has to work for all Canadians, that’s why we’re fighting for the pipeline”

Canadian government spending tens of millions on Facebook ads

From January 2016 to March 2018, feds spent more than $24.4 million on Facebook and Instagram ads

Most Read