Charges laid in hate-motivated assault
An assault believed to be hate-motivated has resulted in charges after a woman was assaulted and bitten by a man shouting racist tirades.
On Jan. 13, 2023, at approximately 5 p.m., a woman was waiting at a bus shelter in the 900 block of 17 Avenue S.W., when she was approached by a man who slapped her phone out of her hands. The man then proceeded to bite the woman on her hand while yelling racist slurs at her. The man continued to yell and threaten the woman until three bystanders intervened and assisted the woman to safety and called police. Once on scene, we located the man and took him into custody.
Michael Grant WILLIAMS, 36, of Calgary, is charged in connection with this incident with one count each of assault and failure to comply with a release order. After consultation with the hate crimes unit, this case is being treated as hate-motivated.
“Everyone has the right to feel safe in their community. There is no place for hate in our city and we want to thank the bystanders for coming to the aid of the victim,” said Constable Matt Messenger from the Hate Crimes Prevention Unit. “We know that hate-motivated incidents are unfortunately under-reported and want to remind all Calgarians to report these incidents so they can be thoroughly investigated and those responsible can be held accountable.”
Hate-motivated crimes are recognizable crimes, like assault, theft, vandalism or any other crime, where the offender was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on one of nine personal characteristics of the victim.
A hate motivation does not result in any additional charges, but any evidence of it is considered by the courts after a person is found guilty of the connected crime. If the judge decides during sentencing that hate was a motivation for the offence, it is an aggravating factor that can add to the convicted person’s sentence.
We encourage anyone who has been the target of ill treatment because of hate to report it. Even if the incident is not criminal, we can use the information to track trends and sometimes even identify suspects in other investigations. Incidents can be reported by calling 403-266-1234, or visiting stophateab.ca.