Charges laid in spitting incident police say was motivated by hate
CALGARY -- Police have charged a Tsuut'ina, Alta. man in connection to a spitting incident in downtown Calgary they say was motivated by hate.
It happened at the rainbow crosswalk at Centre Street and Eighth Avenue S. about 1 p.m. on Aug. 1 when Jordan May, a Calgary drag king whose stage name is Duke Carson, was recording a video.
May said at the time that as a group of three men walked past him, he felt a glob of spit land on his leg.
Police also gathered CCTV footage from the area.
"Information from the public helped identify a suspect who we now believe to be the man in the video," police said in a release.
An arrest was made Thursday with the assistance of the Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service.
Craig Brendon McGillis, 37, of Tsuut’ina, Alta., is charged with one count of assault.
"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," police said in a release.
"These types of offences not only harm the victim but can have larger impacts in the community. They can leave others who share the same characteristic concerned that they too may be targeted, which undermines their feeling of safety in our city."
The spitting incident was one of three that saw members of Calgary's gender and sexually diverse community targeted.
Another took place July 19 near the corner of 17th Avenue and 12th Street S.W., when a group of men attacked a man and called him homophobic slurs.
The third took place Aug. 3 near the intersection of Ninth Street and Memorial Drive N.W. in Kensington, when two men and two women on scooters approached a same-sex couple, and it's believed the two men attacked the same sex couple, using a belt, rocks and a recycling bin as weapons, before fleeing.
Evidence of a hate motivation is considered by the court if a person is found guilty and can add to sentencing.