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Police arrest Hamilton man in alleged ‘hate’ video shot on HSR bus

Hamilton Police say they have made an arrest connected with an alleged hate incident on an HSR bus captured on video Aug. 1, 2022. Global News

Police have charged a Hamilton man connected with an alleged hate incident on an HSR bus captured on video Tuesday.

The video was a ‘first-person’ account shot on a mobile phone with the accused verbally hurling “transphobic and homophobic slurs” towards two unknown people sitting in front of him. The man in the video also made threats towards the individuals upon exiting the bus.

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Investigators say the occurrence took place on a city bus Aug. 1 prior to a stop in the area of Gage Park at the Lawrence Road entrance.

The three-minute footage was sent to Hamilton Police (HPS) via “a third party” from another province through an online crime reporting portal.

Read more: Hate crime reports in Canada surged during COVID-19 pandemic: StatCan

Detectives say Christopher Pretula, 41, has been charged with assault and uttering a threat.

HPS’ Hate Crime Unit says it will be making an application to a justice to classify the incident as a ‘hate crime offence’ under the Criminal Code due to the belief the victims belong to an “identified group.”

Police are still seeking witnesses to the incident and ask them to come forward by contacting Hamilton police online or leaving an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers.

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