As more information about the beating and choking of a Chassidic man is released, an anonymous donor has come forward offering $10,000 to anyone who can provide information that will lead to the arrest of a suspect.

A community member who asked to remain anonymous is offering $10,000 for any information leading to the arrest of the man who beat, choked and doused a liquid witnesses told smelled like gasoline on a Chassidic man who exited the Bank of Montreal at the corner of McEachran and Van Horne Thursday evening.

In an interview with the Montreal Gazette, a witness said that he had been inside the bank with two friends just before the attack. As they left, they noticed a “muscular 25-year-old man” sitting on a bench outside the bank’s front door, holding a plastic bottle of Naya water.

The witness, a longtime local who runs a restaurant, had never seen the man in the neighbourhood before and had an “unsettling” feeling about him. “When you see a new face, you notice it,” he told the Gazette. “There was something strange about his calmness, about how he was sitting there.”

As the witness and his friends chatted at the street corner, they heard a loud crack from behind them. They turned and saw the man pouring his bottle of “water” over the victim.

The witness’ friends started chasing the attacker, but police advised them over the phone to stop for their own safety and the attacker got away.

The witness stayed with the victim who was bleeding from his head, moving around but not responding to questions. “We were all panicking,” said the witness. “But I told him ‘don’t move. You’ve been attacked. Help is on the way.’”

The witness also suggested that the liquid was gasoline, telling the Gazette that there was no car nearby that would have given off the smell.

According to the witness, the suspect and the victim had never spoken, and he hadn’t heard any insults or slurs.

Montreal police took samples of the liquid that they will test in a lab to determine what it was. While they haven’t confirmed yet if the liquid was gasoline, they told Global News that it wasn’t corrosive.

Canine units were sent to try and locate the water bottle and the suspect. Neither were ultimately found.

They also confirmed that nothing had been stolen from the victim, even though he had car keys, a wallet and his phone on him at the time. As to whether the bank’s security footage captured the scene, police did not confirm.

The suspect is described as a Caucasian male in his 20s with short brown hair who was wearing a pale blue shirt and black pants.

Community leaders have stressed that there is nothing to suggest that the attack was anti-Semitic in nature. Many Synagogues in the Outremont area held public gatherings to pray for the victim.

The victim, who was sedated upon arrival to the hospital after suffering a seizure, has seen a vast improvement in his health and was released on Monday afternoon. Miraculously, even though he had been reportedly choked for over a minute, he had no broken bones. However, he could not recall the assault although he did remember his rescuers.

While his health has improved, people can continue saying Tehillim (Psalms) for Shlomo Zalmen Ben Sheva, and the family has requested that anyone who would like to visit the victim should please contact his father to coordinate a time that would be appropriate.

People who have more information about the attack are asked to call the police (911). All information received will remain confidential and anonymous. A $10,000 reward is waiting for anyone who can provide the police with information leading to the arrest of the suspect.

By Zvi Hershcovich –

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