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‘Helmet guy’ charged with uttering threats against Canadian Anti-Hate Network executives

Christopher Vanderweide of Kitchener is currently serving a one-year suspended sentence for assault with a weapon in connection with violence at Hamilton Pride 2019. Richard Boswick

The Kitchener man known as ‘Helmet Guy’ for his participation in violence at Hamilton Pride 2019 has been arrested again — this time, for alleged threats against the chair and executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.

York Regional Police confirm that Christopher Vanderweide has been charged with uttering threats and breach of probation.

Vanderweide allegedly called for chair Bernie Farber and the executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network to be shot in an online chatroom.

A screenshot of the alleged threats has been posted on the organization’s website.

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Farber told Global News that he initially brought it to the attention of Hamilton police, but they didn’t investigate due to the wording of the threat.

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“Something to the effect that it said, ‘Bernie Farber should be shot’ as opposed to ‘Bernie Farber must be shot,'” said Farber.

“I know that sounds absurd because people who are throwing threats out onto the social platforms are not worrying about grammar, and those that are reading it certainly couldn’t care less about sentence structure.”

Vanderweide is serving a one-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to assault with a weapon in connection with violence at Hamilton’s 2019 Pride celebration at Gage Park, and a video that circulated on social media showing Vanderweide smashing people in the face with a helmet.

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Farber said he was “astounded” that Hamilton police did not choose to investigate the incident, and is calling for both an internal investigation and for Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger to look at why the matter wasn’t investigated further.

“If, as far as Hamilton police is concerned, a person with the record of Christopher Vanderweide on assault can get online, go onto social media and threaten anybody — me or anybody else — and the police choose to do nothing because of sentence structure, that’s absolutely unacceptable.”

In an emailed statement to Global News, Const. Jerome Stewart said Hamilton police cannot comment on the case while it’s before the courts.

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“The matter is before the court system in York Region and as such Hamilton Police will not provide any further comments at this time,” wrote Stewart.

Vanderweide has been released on bail and is scheduled to appear in a Newmarket courtroom on Nov. 23.

 

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