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Charges laid as more victims come forward after Calgary spitting incidents

Police said charges are pending after a Calgary woman was spat at on Saturday evening.
Police said charges are pending after a Calgary woman was spat at on Saturday evening. Courtesy: Jessica Lau

A man is facing charges and more victims have come forward after reports of spitting incidents in Calgary over the weekend.

Karen Anderson was on the zoo bridge by Inglewood with her daughter on Friday afternoon when she was shocked by the ordeal.

“This man rode by us [on a bike] and he spit on me. It hit my face and my hands,” she told Global News on Monday.

Read more: Charges pending after racist encounter in Calgary park: police

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Her boyfriend, Codey Faires, said he was in disbelief that someone was going around spitting on people.

“Even if this wasn’t the case of COVID times and a pandemic, I don’t think anybody should be going around spitting on any individual anyway. It’s still a form of assault,” he said.

“It’s hard to kind of sit back and know somebody has assaulted your girlfriend and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Faires said Anderson called police Sunday but hasn’t heard back.

In another incident, Olympian Erica Wiebe said she was spat on by a biking shirtless man wearing sunglasses on Saturday.

“I’m now self-isolating until I can get tested and keep myself, my friends and my teammates safe,” she tweeted.

Police told Global News they are investigating Wiebe’s allegation.

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Assault charges after Saturday spitting incidents

The reports come after police said a man spat on three other individuals on Saturday.

Police said these incidents are separate from Anderson and Wiebe’s reports and they are investigating to see if the cases are related.

On Saturday at 8 p.m., on a Ramsay pathway, an unprovoked person allegedly spat on at least three individuals and used racial slurs, police said.

“A witness confronted the offender, who then threatened the witness with a weapon,” police said Monday.

“A video of the incident was circulated online and the offender was quickly identified.”

Read more: Calgary family shocked by video showing parcel delivery driver spitting and sneezing

Jessica Lau was one of the three people involved. She and her boyfriend were in a park near Inglewood on Saturday at around 8 p.m.

Lau’s boyfriend was shooting video of her longboarding when a man on a bike came around the corner, spit at her and called her a racial slur.

“All of a sudden, I get a big spit on the side of my face and all over the side of my body,” she said.

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“In my 27 years of living in Calgary, I’ve never experienced any kind of racism in my life. It was a big reality check for me and just kind of pointing out this is a thing that’s happening in the world right now.”

On Sunday, Justin Riaz Williams, 31, of Calgary, was taken into custody and charged with three counts of assault and one count of possession of a weapon dangerous to the public.

Police said they are still investigating and more charges are possible.

“We have had additional victims come forward since the initial three so we are reviewing those allegations,” police said.

– With files from Kirby Bourne