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Charges laid in alleged gaybashing

Sunjeet Singh Minhas accused of assault and uttering threats

"They followed us across the street, half a block down Davie after Granville and confronted us, and they continued to call us 'fucking faggots,'" Travis Johnston alleges. Credit: Robin Perelle photo

A 23-year-old man faces criminal charges in connection with an alleged Davie St gaybashing last month.

Sunjeet Singh Minhas has been charged with assault with a weapon and uttering threats.

The alleged incident took place around 4am on Oct 9 in the 600 block of Davie St, according to Jana McGuinness, media relations officer for the Vancouver Police Department (VPD).

Travis James Johnston, 32, says he was holding another man’s hand and walking with a group of friends after leaving The Junction Pub when they were allegedly accosted by a group of men in their mid-20s.

“[They] started shouting ‘faggot’ at us and homophobic slurs,” Johnston alleges. “They followed us across the street, half a block down Davie after Granville, and confronted us, and they continued to call us ‘fucking faggots.’

“One of them had an umbrella, and he struck me on the face with it, splitting my lip and my chin,” he continues. “It was the end of the umbrella. It was like a missile.”

McGuinness told Xtra last month that the case had been sent to the VPD’s hate crime unit for a review because of comments made during the alleged assault.

Crown spokesperson Neil MacKenzie says he can’t comment on the specifics of the case but says that if the prosecutor has evidence that the accused was motivated by hatred, it could be considered an aggravating factor in sentencing.

Minhas’s next appearance in Vancouver’s Downtown Community Court is scheduled for Dec 6.