The arrest of a man suspected in a homophobic attack has led to others coming forward saying they too were victims, suggesting a serial attacker.
A gay male married couple were boarding the SkyTrain in Vancouver, Canada when out of nowhere a stranger kicked one of them. The attacker then released a string of obscenities while still threatening violence to one of them. Another passenger intervened to help the husband of the victim pull the aggressor away but the husband was punched in the face. The aggressor left the train at the next station but not before spitting at the couple and kicking one of them in the stomach.
When police released CCTV footage of the man leaving the train in an effort to identify him, another gay male couple came forward to say they too had been attacked by the same person.
The new complainant said he and his partner had run afoul of the same man on the SkyTrain months before. They had been holding hands when he shouted at them saying there were children present and their actions were offensive. There followed a string of homophobic slurs. Fearing for their safety, the couple left the train at the next stop instead of completing their journey.
Due to information received, police arrested a suspect but no other information has been released apart from a repeated call for witnesses. The two incidents reported suggest a possible serial offender, so there well could be reasons to believe these might not be the only attacks, there may be others out there which have gone unreported.
In recent months, France has seen an alarming increase in hate crimes directed toward the LGBT+ community. In the past month alone, there have been three homophobic attacks on the streets of Paris. Clémence Zamora-Cruz, a spokesperson for Inter-LGBT, stated: “This is just the tip of the iceberg. On the ground, many attacks go unreported. Often, victims don’t complain for fear of reprisals, or because they’re afraid of speaking to police officers who aren’t aware of issues relating to LGBT identity. They’re scared of not being listened to.”
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