Hijab cutting incident did not happen, Toronto police say

Posted at 7:20 AM, Jan 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 08:47:00-05

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that police say a reported event did not happen. 

Toronto police say an alarming incident reported by an 11-year-old girl -- that a man cut her hijab as she walked to school -- did not happen.

A police spokesman would not provide specifics but said the evidence didn't support the girl's account.

"It's very rare for an allegation to be investigated and we later find out that it does not happen," spokesman Mark Pugash said Monday.

Police said the investigation has concluded.

CNN has reached out to the girl's family but has not received a response.

At a Friday news conference, police said a man approached the child from behind on Friday morning as she made her way to school with her younger brother.

He pulled the hood off the girl's jacket and cut her hijab with a pair of scissors, police said.

The girl said she screamed and the man ran away, but he returned a few minutes later to assault her again.

"I felt really scared and confused," said the, girl, Khawlah Noman, when she appeared at the Friday news conference.

Police said then that they were investigating the incident, which happened in a neighborhood known for its diversity, as a hate crime.

Reports of the hijab cutting garnered international attention, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemning the alleged attack.

The Toronto District School Board on Monday issued a statement: "We are very thankful that this assault did not in fact happen. We won't be commenting further."