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Calgary barbershops say they face threats after being misidentified in hate crime probe

Click to play video 'Calgary barbershop faces backlash following hate crime investigation' Calgary barbershop faces backlash following hate crime investigation
WATCH: Calgary barbershop faces backlash following hate crime investigation

A Calgary business owner came forward Thursday after receiving multiple threats to his barbershop after what is believed to be a case of mistaken identity.

Patrick Chen has rented the primary chair at The Barber Shop in Brentwood Village mall for nearly ten years. Chen said that there is another business in town with a similar name and as a result he’s been the victim of numerous threats.

Brentwood Barbershop is a different business, located nearly two kilometres away. One of the men that works at the location had been identified on social media as someone that was involved in a possible hate crime in the area.

Read more: As police investigate possible Calgary hate crime, suspect and victims tell different stories

Click to play video 'Man accused of hate crime in Calgary speaks out' Man accused of hate crime in Calgary speaks out
Man accused of hate crime in Calgary speaks out

Chen said that because the names of the two businesses are similar he had been receiving numerous threats and phone calls, including one that urged him to burn down his shop.

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“I told the guy I’m not the one,” recounted Chen. “You are looking for the wrong person.”

Chen said that he had gone to police about the threats but worried about business, which is already down because of COVID-19.

“It’s really frustrating because it’s hard to put food on the table right now, especially with being shut down for three and a half months”

In addition, another barbershop said that it too had been misidentified.

READ MORE: Police investigating incidents believed to be ‘hate-motivated’ crimes involving LGBTQ2 Calgarians

Ibrahim with Denim and Smith in Shawnessy posted a video on Youtube to clear up confusion.

“They think I look like the man involved in this incident,” the post states. He appropriately cited the difference in haircuts that differentiates him from the men allegedly involved.

“Both of the men involved in this incident they had a fresh fade, and I do not”.

Ellen Parker, a communications specialist who founded Parker PR, said Wednesday that it can be difficult to navigate bad press that circulates on social media, especially in a scenario where a business has been mistaken for another. She suggested that the business owners immediately clarify the situation via social media.

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“Whether they have a website, if they send out a newsletter to their client base,” explained Parker.

“Any social media channel that they use we strongly recommend crafting the message that we want to share and putting it on all those channels”.

Chen said he will remain open and hoped by speaking out that customers will come back.

Calgary Police have not laid charges in the original incident and is continuing to investigate.

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