Two youths charged after hate-based assault, harrassment on Kingston buses

Kingstonist file photo.

Two local youths have been arrested and charged after Kingston Police investigated complaints of “hate/bias motivated” incidents occurred on City-owned buses last month, according to police.

In a press release on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, Kingston Police outlined two incidents that involved hate speech and harassment, both of which occurred on board Kingston Transit buses. The first incident, police said, occurred on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, when the victim boarded a bus and sat near the back. While seated alone, the victim was approached by two youths, who began to harass the victim. According to police, the older of the two youths made a racial slur and then, at the encouragement of the younger youth, began touching and slapping the victim’s head.

Exactly two weeks later, the same victim was faced with yet another hate-fuelled incident when they were on another Kingston Transit bus and the same two youths boarded that bus. Another confrontation ensued, after which the victim “overheard a threatening remark” as they were getting off the bus.

An investigation by a Kingston Police Hate Crimes Officer and a Kingston Police Youth Officer ensued and, with the assistance of Kingston Transit, the officers were able to identify the two youths, according to police. On Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, both youths were located and arrested, police said, noting that both of the accused youths were taken to Kingston Police Headquarters, where they were later released with future court dates.

As a result, the two youths – one aged 14, the other aged 13 – were charged with assault, and harassment by threatening conduct.

“Investigators have concerns that similar incidents may have occurred on Kingston Transit buses,” Const. Cameron Mack, acting Media Relations Officer with Kingston Police, said in response to Kingstonist inquiries.

Anyone with information on these incidents or others like them is asked to contact Det. Stefan Walker at 613-549-4660 ext. 6332, or via email at [email protected].

Tips can also be made anonymously by calling the Kingston Police general number (613-549-4660 ext. 0) and requesting to remain anonymous, or by contacting Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Kingston Police also said that anyone who has been affected by a hate/bias-motivated incident can view the Kingston Police Hate Crimes page to learn how to report the incident, and anyone looking for support or advice may reach out to the Kingston Police Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Officer.

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