Exactly one month after a same-sex couple was assaulted in Calgary’s Sunnyside neighbourhood, police announced Thursday that two people have been charged in connection with the attack, which they believe was motivated by hate.
“The investigation has been reviewed by our hate crimes co-ordinator and it has been determined there is sufficient evidence to support a hate bias motivation for this offence,” the Calgary Police Service said in a news release.
“The case will proceed as a hate crime file and be designated to a specialized crime Crown prosecutor.”
The violent incident unfolded at about 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 3. According to police, a couple was walking near the intersection of 9 Street and Memorial Drive N.W. when they were approached by two men and two women on e-scooters.
“A physical and verbal altercation occurred between the couple and the group riding the scooters,” police said. “A belt, rocks and a recycling bin were used as weapons and then the group fled.”
When police got to the scene, the injured men were treated for their injuries but officers were originally not able to find the suspects.
Following an investigation in which they received help from the public, police were able to find two suspects and announced Thursday that 23-year-old Ahmed Nasser Borhot and 24-year-old Alaa Borhot — both from Calgary — have been charged with assault with a weapon. Ahmed Borhot is also charged with assault.
Police noted Thursday that hate motivation in a crime is considered by the courts only if a person is found guilty of a crime.
“If the judge decides during sentencing that hate was a motivation for the offence, it is an aggravating factor that can add to the convicted person’s sentence,” police said.
Both have a court appearance scheduled for Oct. 27.
Watch below: Some Global News videos about an assault in Calgary’s Sunnyside neighbourhood in August.