Three incidents involving LGBTQ2S+ Calgarians believed to be hate-motivated
UPDATE: Thanks to the many tips from the public, we have identified the suspects believed to be connected to an assault of a couple in Kensington on Monday, Aug. 3. Investigations of this nature can be complex, and we ask for patience as we collect and process all the evidence.
A man has also been charged in connection with the spitting incident.
ORIGINAL NEWS RELEASE:
We are aware of three potential hate-motivated crimes that targeted Calgary’s gender and sexually diverse community over the long weekend. Investigations are underway into each case and we are asking for anyone with information to contact us.
The first incident relates to a report that a man was assaulted near the intersection of 17 Avenue and 12 Street in the middle of the day on Friday, July 31, 2020. It is alleged that a group of men attacked the victim while calling him homophobic slurs and then fled.
The second incident occurred around 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1, on the Rainbow Crosswalk at the intersection of Centre Street and Stephen Avenue Mall S.W. A Drag King recording a video was spat on by an unknown man walking past. The incident is now being investigated and video and CCTV footage is being collected by us to help identify the man responsible.
The third incident occurred around 5:30 p.m., on Monday, Aug. 3. A same-sex couple was walking near the intersection of 9 Street and Memorial Drive N.W., when two men and two women on electronic scooters approached them. An altercation occurred and it is believed the two men on scooters assaulted the couple because of their sexual orientation. A belt, rocks and a recycling bin were used as weapons and then the group fled.
Our officers arrived shortly after and searched the area but could not locate the group. The victims received medical care for non-life-threatening injuries.
The two suspects are both described as being about 30 years old, average height and build, with trim black beards and short black hair. The one was wearing black framed glasses, white polo shirt, dark pants, brown loafers, and white socks. The other was wearing a grey polo shirt with white collar and sleeves, grey pants, and white runners.
Photos of the suspects are being released in the hopes that someone will be able to identify them.
“It is shocking to see anyone targeted for a crime because of a personal characteristic, but it is extremely disturbing to see the same community targeted three times in one weekend,” said Sergeant Arlene Padnivelan, with the Calgary Police Service Diversity Resource Team. “It is unacceptable that this is happening and we will absolutely investigate anytime a crime is motivated by hate or bias.”
We encourage anyone who has been targeted for ill treatment or a crime because of their sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or some other similar trait to report it to us. Reporting incidents allows us to investigate and hold the people responsible accountable.
“We fully recognize that sometimes people do not want to involve the police or don’t feel comfortable coming to us for help,” adds Sergeant Padnivelan. “We respect the wishes of those who are most affected by the incident and never force a victim to participate in a police investigation. However, if there is a way we can help make a person feel safe enough to come forward, we want to try do that.”
Anyone who believes they have been a victim of a hate-motivated crime can report it by calling our non-emergency line at 403-266-1234, or 9-1-1 if the crime is in process.
If you are uncomfortable reporting the incident through the traditional channels, you or someone you trust can reach out directly to the Diversity Resource Team or Hate Crimes Coordinator by calling 403-428-8399 to find a way you would be more comfortable speaking to police.
Anyone with information on these above incidents or the identity of those responsible is asked to contact our non-emergency line. Tips can be submitted anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers through any of the following methods:
APP: “P3 Tips” app
Hate-motivated crimes are recognizable crimes, like assault, theft, vandalism or any other crime, where the offender was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate that is based on one of nine personal characteristics of the victim.
The hate motivation is considered by the courts after a person is found guilty of the 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.
Case # CA20310116/5544 (Kensington Assault)
Case # CA20308785/3218 (Spitting Assault)