Victoria police investigate homophobic ‘hate crime’ in runup to Pride Week

Experiences leave nightclub owner worrying about state of acceptance

An incident Sunday night in which empty bullet shell casings were thrown at patrons outside a gay nightclub in Victoria has cast a shadow on preparations for Pride Week, says the club spokesperson.

“I’m getting a little bit worried about the safety of the people,” said Attila Bassett with the Paparazzi Nightclub. “Throwing gun shells at people, that’s terrible.”

The business is trying to prepare for Pride Week festivities, June 30 to July 8, “but it gets more and more difficult because you keep worrying what’s going to happen next,” he said.

The incident happened just over a week after Bassett was the target of homophobic comments posted online, which he reported to police.

“It seems like we’re being pushed back 100 years,” he added. “But I know that the community is strong and they’re going to stand behind (Pride Week).”

Victoria police are seeking the public’s help in identifying a male suspect who allegedly made homophobic comments to a group of people outside the club, before empty shell casings were hurled at their feet, around 8 p.m.

“It was clearly an identified threat, clearly focusing toward the (lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender) community, so therefore it is classified as a hate crime,” said Victoria police Staff Sgt. Darren Laur.

Since then, police have been canvassing the area for video surveillance.

“One of the challenges that we have is that the two witnesses involved give two different descriptions (of the suspect),” said Laur. “So it makes it more challenging for us, but I can tell you in 27 years of policing, I have never seen an incident like that take place.”

The only common description for the suspect is that he is a white male in his 20s. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Victoria police at 250-995-7444, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

West Shore resident, local officer encourages women to take control of their safety

Kris Greffard is posting short videos with safety tips for women using local trails and parks

Point Ellice House exhibit offers new lens into colonial history

The new ‘Politics of luxury’ display studies the wealthy O’Reilly family from several angles

Police and Indigenous communities pull together in 10-day canoe journey

Victoria Police Department, Ministry of Children and Family Development took part in Pulling Together Canoe Journey

Saanich Police receive another report of a cougar sighting

The big cat was spotted in the area near Saanich Road and Blanshard Street

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Most Read