EXCLUSIVE: Hate crime charges laid against passenger in Calgary taxi abuse video
WATCH ABOVE: Hate crime charges have been laid against a passenger in a Calgary taxi abuse video. Global’s Nancy Hixt reports.
WARNING: This story contains graphic language. Discretion is advised.
CALGARY – A woman who was caught on CCTV video abusing a Calgary taxi driver has been charged with a hate crime.
Twenty-four-year-old Brittany Bachinsky is charged with uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm in the July 2014 incident. The video was released to Global News in July 2015.
The video obtained by Global News shows Bachinsky berating the cab driver, saying, “I don’t know why the f–k they let people like this into our f—ing country.
“You shouldn’t be allowed in my country.”
Safou Ranna is the taxi driver shown in the video and has been driving a Calgary cab for two years.
“Your country? It’s not your country,” says Ranna in the video.
“It is my f—ing country, buddy. Where are you from? Where are you from?” replies Bachinsky.
“I’m from Canada,” says Ranna.
“I will f–k you up, buddy. You are a disrespectful motherf—er, you should be so glad to be in my f—ing country,” says Bachinsky.
Ranna says he is happy charges have been laid.
“I feel so bad because this is my country; I’m a Canadian now.”
“The CCTV footage in this case was excellent evidence for us and from that we were able to identify Bachinsky,” said Calgary Police Det. Matt Baker.
Police said they believe Bachinsky saw the video that aired on Global News July 21 and recognized herself, but failed to turn herself in.
Bachinsky was arrested and released on a promise to appear in court. Her first court appearance is set for Oct. 1.
Bachinsky has declined an interview request. Global News held this story for 24 hours to give her extra time to respond.
WATCH: A Calgary cab driver shares his experiences with fares and his perspective on the recent charges against a passenger.
Police are still looking for a passenger who was riding in the front seat. Investigators said he will also face charges.
Calgary police lay between 50 and 60 hate crime charges each year, and say those charges range from property damage, to assaults, to uttering threats. The believed motivation behind these incidents is what puts them under the umbrella of hate crimes. In this case, if Bachinsky is convicted of uttering threats, she faces a maximum of five years in jail. Police say a sentence can double when it’s treated as a hate crime.
In a separate extreme case of verbal and physical abuse caught on CCTV, an Airdrie man is seen yelling racial slurs at a Calgary cab driver. The RCMP had originally closed the file with no charges, but after coverage by Global News, the case was reopened. RCMP have yet to lay charges in the case.
Watch below: Nancy Hixt’s original story that shows Bachinsky’s case (July 21)
The driver in that case, Sardar Qayyum, said news of the hate crime charges gives him hope for a resolution in his own case.
“It’s really good news at least they charged [someone]. The Calgary police did a great job,” said Qayyum. “They were really abusive to my fellow driver and I’m happy at least he got justice, but I’m so frustrated that I never got the justice still.”
© 2015 Shaw Media