The Calgary Police announced Wednesday they have charged a man in connection with a hate-motivated attack on a CTrain which occurred earlier in September.
According to a statement released by Calgary Police, the incident occurred at around 8:30 am when a young South Asian woman was riding the train and Aa couple with a child in a stroller boarded at Chinook Station. One of the parents sat in a seat with their child, while the other stood nearby.
The statement further added that a man on the train began telling the young woman to give her seat up for the standing parent and, despite the couple assuring the woman and man that they do not need the seat, the man’s comments escalated to include racial and sexual slurs. The man then stood up and walked towards the young woman, but another passenger intervened and blocked him.
Calgary Transit staff were alerted and the man was told to leave the train at the City Hall station, the Calgary Police said, adding that the woman then met police at a station further down the line to report what happened.
Sergeant Gareth Joels from the Calgary Police Service Hate and Extremism Team said “No one should have to fear for their safety when they are out enjoying our city, especially if that fear comes from being targeted because of their race or some other personal characteristic.”
“This type of behaviour is completely unacceptable, and we want this young woman to know that Calgarians are not okay with what happened to her. It shows in the fact that people on the train intervened, and I hope it shows in all the investigative work we have done to try hold the person responsible accountable,” Sgt. Joels added.
Gary Francis DAWSON, 63, of Calgary, is charged in connection with this incident with one count each of assault, criminal harassment, causing a disturbance and mischief. The case is being treated as hate motivated.
The investigation continues and we would like to speak to the bystander who intervened and anyone else who witnessed this incident. Please call our non-emergency number at 403-266-1234