Man, 41, charged in Hamilton ‘hate incident’ investigation

A man has been charged after he allegedly uttered transphobic and homophobic slurs at and threatened two people in Hamilton over the long weekend.

The incident happened on Monday, Aug. 1, on a Hamilton Street Railway bus near Gage Park at the Lawrence Road entrance.

A video of the incident had been posted to social media, reportedly showing a man hurling homophobic and transphobic slurs at two passengers.

Before exiting the bus, the man allegedly made threats against the two people, police said.

A day after appealing for information about the suspect, Hamilton police announced on Wednesday that they had arrested 41-year-old Christopher Pretula.

He has been charged with assault and uttering threat.

“The incident has been reviewed by the Hate Crime Unit and an application will be made to classify the incident as a Hate Crime offence because of the perception the victims belong to an identified group,” police said.

Police noted that they became aware of this “hate incident” after someone from another province reported it to them through their online reporting tool.

Investigators continue to urge anyone who fell victim to or saw what happened to contact Sgt. Rebecca Moran at 905-546-5511, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 or http://www.crimestoppershamilton.com.

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