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

Telephone poles placed in centre of sidewalk angers West Kelowna watchdog

Audience Group calls placement of poles in new Boucherie Road upgrade project ‘idiocy’

Kelowna asking public to help update its Cultural Plan

Second survey this year to posted to gather public input about cultural programs and services

Three candidates drop out of Central Okanagan municipal election

Two running for Peachland/OK West trustee and OK East rural director candidate step aside

West Kelowna water warning downgraded

City lowers boil water notice for Lakeview water system to a water quality advisory

Ancestral remains uncovered at Fintry to be reburied

Remains found along Shorts Creek in Fintry Provincial Park during flood remediation measures

Your weekend weather update

Rain continues to move right across the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

Low risk associated with case of pneumococcal disease in the South Okanagan

No identified risk to the public from recent case of pneumococcal disease with associated meningitis

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read