At first, the man used markers to touch antiabortion protesters on a Toronto street corner.
It was enough for one of the demonstrators to approach the man and start recording.
A protester on the other side of the issue responded with a quintessentially Canadian response: “You ought to kill them with kindness, remember?”
But the man, apparently inflamed by the messages decrying abortion, bypassed the suggestion Sunday.
He had used markers to write on signs and apparently mark at least one woman, the Toronto Sun reported. One woman is shown trying to rub it off.
“If somebody gets raped by somebody, and they’re like, ‘I’m a 16-year-old, and I can’t have this baby,’ think you should keep it?” he asked Marie-Claire Bissonnette, who filmed the incident as she led dozens of demonstrators with the Campaign Life Coalition.
“It’s a baby. If someone is raped and she gave birth, and she decided to kill her 3-year-old child —," Bissonnette countered.
At that moment, the man planted his feet, stuck out his tongue and delivered what authorities described as a “roundhouse kick” that struck Bissonnette in the shoulder, sending her phone tumbling through the air.
“I meant to kick your phone!” he yelled.
“Someone call the cops!” Bissonnette yelled. “Do not touch me!”
The man fled and police arrived at the scene, Toronto Police Service spokesman Gary Long said in a statement provided to The Washington Post. An investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made, Long said.
The department did not identify a suspect, but his former employer did. Amy Wesselink, the manager of Noble Studio 101, told The Post that the man in the video is Jordan Hunt, a freelance contract hairstylist hired two months ago. He was let go Wednesday.
There were already indications that things were not going to work out, Wesselink said Friday. Hunt told her he needed to leave town after vaguely describing a video circulating online.
Wesselink fired Hunt from what she described as a small salon.
“We’re five women,” she said. “It doesn’t represent who we are as a studio.”
Bissonnette, the antiabortion activist, did not return a request for comment. Hunt could not be reached for comment. The Sun reported that Hunt has deleted his social media accounts.
Bissonnette told the Sun she was shocked by the sudden attack.
"You would expect someone to start yelling in a loud voice or be very aggressive before they would go and physically assault someone,” she said. Hunt also tore a ribbon from her chest before fleeing, she said.
The studio has been paralyzed by thousands of angry messages from around the world, fake appointments and threats, Wesselink said.
“We did not ask for this attention. We are a collective of hard-working individuals simply supporting our families. Please respect this,” Wesselink said in a plea posted to Instagram on Friday.