Calgary: Charges laid in hate crime investigation

Calgary, Alberta – The Calgary Police Service has laid charges against a man accused of vandalising a downtown crosswalk supporting the Gender and Sexually Diverse community.

The crosswalk was defaced at approximately 8:20 a.m., on Sunday, August 18, 2019.

Following an interview with the accused, investigators determined there was sufficient evidence to support a hate bias motivation for this offence. The case will proceed as a hate crime file and be designated to a Specialized Crime Crown Prosecutor.

Kevin James GAVEL, 54, of Calgary, is charged with one count of mischief and will next appear in court on Tuesday, October 1, 2019. GAVEL has a condition to not be within 500 metres of the permanent Pride and Trans flag crosswalks and the intersection of 8th Avenue and Centre Street. The condition has been imposed to prevent repetition of offences.

This was the second vandalism incident to occur at this crosswalk in the last week, the first of which occurred on Wednesday, August 14, 2019.

In the first vandalism incident, CCTV footage shows the suspect stopping and interacting with a motorist who attempted to turn onto 8th Avenue from Centre Street. Several local taxis and a jogger were also seen in the area and may have information that could assist in the investigation.

It is not believed that the suspects in these investigations are related.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call the Calgary Police Service non-emergency number at 403-266-1234. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers through either of the following methods:

TALK: 1-800-222-8477

TYPE: www.calgarycrimestoppers.org

Case #19355032/4771

BACKGROUND

Calgary, Alberta – The Calgary Police Service is seeking public assistance in identifying two people believed responsible for unrelated incidents of vandalism on downtown crosswalks supporting the Gender and Sexually Diverse community.

Both incidents were captured on nearby closed-circuit television and the images are being released in hopes that someone will know the offenders, or that the suspects will turn themselves into police.

During the first incident around 4:15 a.m., on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, an individual wearing construction clothing and a white hard hat defaced the pride and transgender flag crosswalks using spray paint. The crosswalks, on 8th Avenue near Centre Street, were marked with the words “Lust” and “Lost.”

The CPS Hate Crimes Unit canvassed the area following the incident and located footage from a CCTV camera that captured the person setting up orange road cones and a road closed sign while defacing the crosswalk.

At one point, the suspect interacted with a motorist who attempted to turn onto 8th Avenue from Centre Street, but was stopped by the individual. Several local taxis and a jogger were also seen in the area and may have information that could assist the investigation.

Investigators are releasing the images to identify the offender, the driver of the vehicle and a jogger who passed the suspect and asks any witnesses to come forward.

A/Sgt. Craig Collins from the Hate Crimes Unit believes that this is not a random act of vandalism, and that the offender has tried to conceal their identity. In the lead up to Calgary Pride, this message is clearly intended to target the large Gender and Sexually Diverse (GSD) community and send a wide-reaching message.

During the second incident, which occurred around 8:20 a.m., on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, the pride crosswalk was defaced again, this time with the words, “Shoot a faggit (sic).” This is being treated as an unrelated incident to the first vandalism case.

Suspect photo
Suspect photo

The Hate Crimes Unit is releasing photos of a man believed responsible for the crime.

Messages and acts of hate towards the GSD community will not be tolerated by the CPS.

VIDEO 1

VIDEO 2

“These acts of vandalism are committed by cowards who do not have the courage to stand behind their words,” said Collins. “I challenge them to come forward and take responsibility for their actions.”

Anyone with information about these incidents asked to call the Calgary Police Service non-emergency number at 403-266-1234. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers through either of the following methods:

TALK: 1-800-222-8477

TYPE: www.calgarycrimestoppers.org

Case #19355032

Calgary Police Service



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