Calgary Police Service charged a man Tuesday in connection to an assault where a woman was spat on and called racial slurs earlier this year.
The incident dates back to Feb. 11 when Tianna Hay was about to enter a Dollarama in the Temple neighbourhood in northeast Calgary at the same time a man was exiting the store.
After Hay stepped aside to allow the man to pass, he spat on her and said a racial slur.
In Hay’s victim impact statement, she says he called her a racist name twice.
Police say the man did this without any provocation, then left the area on foot.
According to a news release Tuesday, Hay joined investigators to seek out the man last month however she recently spotted him while in the downtown area.
Davit Aleksanyan, 27, of Calgary, has been charged with one count of common assault.
WATCH | Tianna Hay talk about the encounter below
Police said that if the judge decides that hate was a motivation for the offence, it could add to the sentence.
“Any evidence of a hate motivation is considered by the courts after a person is found guilty of the connected crime,” the release said.
Impact on Hay
Hay, who is Canadian Jamaican and the daughter of immigrants, said in a statement she has never had “another human being completely disregard my right to decency and respect.”
She says she has been stereotyped and racially profiled before but the assault “impacted my life in ways that I did not know were possible.”
Since that assault, Hay says, she has become paranoid and remains traumatized.
Police said in a release these types of offences not only harm the victim but can have lasting emotional impacts on those involved and on the community.
“Hate-motivated crimes are recognizable crimes, like assault, theft, vandalism or any other crime, where the offender was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate that is based on one of nine personal characteristics of the victim,” the release said.
Aleksanyan is scheduled to appear in court on July 8.
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