Calgary police are investigating an assault on a transgender woman as hate-motivated.
The attack happened on a city CTrain on Oct. 27. The victim said she was riding the train southbound from the downtown core, minding her own business, when the incident happened.
“This guy came up to me and started hassling me about being transgender,” Mira Baker told Global News.
Baker said she was taken off guard by the man’s comments.
“Something that I’m almost as good-looking as he is… I can’t remember his exact phrasing, but he was making fun of the fact that I looked like a man dressed as a woman.”
Baker said she told him to leave her alone and thought that was the end of it. But moments later, it escalated.
“He got up and headed back toward me and punched me right in the face, right in the nose,” she said.
Baker said she tried to defend herself, and grabbed the man — all the while screaming for passengers to hit the emergency bar for help.
She said that’s when the train stopped and the man got off at Chinook station.
Police have released CCTV video of the suspect in hopes of identifying him so investigators can speak with him.
The video shows the suspect before he got on the train. Surveillance video of the actual assault has not been released for investigative reasons, police said.
“When we’re dealing with the hate bias component — where someone is targeted because of their gender or sexuality — it adds an additional aggravating factor,” Const. Craig Collins said.
Collins is the hate crimes coordinator with the Calgary Police Service.
“Somebody is now being targeted for who they are and that’s not acceptable,” he said.
Baker said she takes some comfort in knowing police are taking the case seriously. She said the attack has left her anxious and she’s barely left her home since.
“Transgender people are just people and we just want to live our lives,” Baker said.
Anyone with information about this incident or the identity of the offender is asked to contact the Calgary Police Service by calling the non-emergency number at 403-266-1234 or emailing the hate crimes coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips can also be left anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.