One man has been arrested following an alleged assault at a West End MLA’s office.
Shortly before noon on Friday, February 21st, an intoxicated man entered the office of MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert and became involved in a dispute with a staff member. Due to the man’s behaviour, he was asked to leave. Allegedly, the man damaged a door inside the office and punched the employee in the face before leaving.
When police arrived a few minutes later, they found the man standing on the sidewalk, down the street from the office. He was arrested without incident and taken to jail.
The 53-year-old Vancouver man has been released without charges, pending his next court appearance schedule for April 4, 2014.
The Vancouver Police Hate Crimes Unit is investigating the incident, which was allegedly a homophobic spurred attack.
MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert has issued the following statement and his story over the incident:
On Friday February 21, a man came into my Vancouver West End constituency office demanding to see me, his MLA. After expressing his hatred towards the rainbow flag which flies at the community centre across the street, and the rainbow flag in my office, he shouted homophobic slurs at my constituency assistant, punched a hole in my office door, and then assaulted him.
I contacted the police who arrived shortly after and arrested the assailant. My assistant is recovering from the incident, but we are both shaken and shocked that someone felt it acceptable to express their hateful views by assaulting a government worker and damaging government property.
I would like to thank the Vancouver Police Department for their professionalism, compassion and quick response. I would also like to thank legislature staff, MLAs, Opposition Leader Adrian Dix, Speaker Linda Reid and people across B.C. for their kind words of support.
I believe that acts of hate and violence are serious matters that should be reported to the appropriate authorities. For this reason criminal charges are being pursued. If such senseless acts of hate and violence can happen in an MLA’s office in Vancouver’s West End, they can happen anywhere.
This attack will only encourage me to redouble efforts to ensure our government is taking all steps to support our province’s diverse communities and stand against hate.
We will continue to honour the memories of Aaron Webster, Ritchie Dowrie and other victims of homophobic violence in our province, and we will continue to proudly raise the rainbow flag as an expression of equality, dignity and human rights for all.
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