UPDATE: Jan 15, 2010
The youth charged with assault causing bodily harm in connection with an alleged gaybashing near Commercial Dr, Dec 13 is scheduled to appear in youth court Feb 4 for arraignment. A plea is possible at that time.
The accused was 17 at the time of the offence but turned 18 on Dec 30.
He cannot be named under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Jan 14, 2010
A youth charged with assault causing bodily harm made his first court appearance Jan 13 in connection with an alleged gaybashing near Vancouver’s Commerical Dr, Dec 13.
A 31-year-old gay man underwent surgery Dec 14 for a broken jaw after allegedly being targeted with homophobic slurs and repeatedly punched and kicked as he left a house party on Commercial Dr.
The youth, who was 17 at the time of the offense, appeared in youth court at Robson Square and was told to return Jan 14 after making arrangements through legal aid to get a lawyer.
The accused, who cannot be named under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, spoke in halting English to the judge, and addressed his mother in Spanish.
At one point, a lawyer said he would assist the youth outside the court. His mother rose to go with them and was curtly waved aside by her teen son with two words in Spanish.
In a Dec 14 interview with Xtra West, Billy who would only give his first name, alleged he was leaving the house party with friends when a man standing nearby began to harass them. “He pushed my girl friend on the floor. I went to help her up and he kicked me in the face by my eye,” Billy alleged.
“He was trying to follow my lady friends, who were with me,” Billy alleged. “I was like, ‘Let’s go, let’s go,’ and he was like, ‘Shut up, you fucking fag,’ and then he just started beating me.
“He called me a fucking faggot, you fucking gay, you piece of shit, you’re worthless — just kept on calling me fag, fag, fag,” Billy further alleged.
Billy says his jaw was broken in two places and had to be wired shut. He also lost a tooth and sustained a black eye.
Police say they received a call about a number of people fighting around 5 am Dec 13 at E 3rd and Commercial Dr.
“There were a number of people fighting and it looks like a verbal argument between several people, which escalated into physical violence between two men,” Vancouver Police Department Const Jana McGuinness told Xtra West Dec 15.
Asked if the police report indicates homophobic remarks were made during the incident, McGuinness said there was “an indication that some statements were made to the victim by the person who assaulted him,” but declined to elaborate.
Such evidence would have gone to the VPD hate crime unit as part of the investigation, McGuinness said.