British Columbia·Video

B.C. man whose racist tirade went viral planning to turn himself in girlfriend says

The man whose racist tirade was caught on video last week in Abbotsford plans to turn himself in Tuesday, according to his girlfriend.

Karry Vernon Corbett, 47, of Hope, B.C., is facing 4 charges as a result of his rant

Police have identified the man in this photo, taken from video, as Karry Vernon Corbett, 47, of Hope, B.C. Corbett faces charges including uttering threats, assault and causing a disturbance. (Ravi Duhra/YouTube)

The man whose racist tirade was caught on video last week in Abbotsford plans to turn himself in Tuesday, according to his girlfriend.

"He's going to meet his lawyer at Abbotsford courthouse tomorrow morning and deal with it," said Laila Paiman, Karry Vernon Corbett's girlfriend.

Corbett, 47, is seen in the widely-circulated video verbally attacking a parking attendant who had stopped to write him a ticket.

Corbett has been charged with four counts, including assault, uttering threats and causing a disturbance. 

Paiman says she and Corbett were just turning their truck around in the parking lot when the situation unfolded. 

"He's a bit hot tempered at times but he's doesn't have any racist issues with anybody," she said. "He's sorry it happened."

"He was just angry about getting a ticket when we didn't do anything wrong," she said. 

Corbett, a resident of Hope, B.C. — a small community 150 kilometres east of Vancouver — was recorded on Oct. 21 by an Abbotsford lawyer who saw a man yelling at a 72-year-old parking enforcement officer in downtown Abbotsford.

"The suspect then focused his anger and attention on that witness and went on a tirade that included many racist and disturbing remarks," said Abbotsford police.

Police quickly identified Corbett, who has a long criminal record according to Const. Ian MacDonald, of Abbotsford police.

Abbotsford police are investigating to see if charges are warranted 0:51

Not charged with hate crime

But despite the racist remarks, which included many slurs and the phrase "white power," Corbett has not been charged with a hate crime, said MacDonald.

"To get a charge, we would have to prove that he is either producing hate-based materials … or that he is trying to incite others to join his hatred," said the officer.

It just seems to be everybody wants to talk about it.— Lawyer Ravi   Duhra  

"We couldn't get evidence that he was trying to get others to join in his hatred, and that's where we hit a stumbling block."

Court documents show Corbett has a criminal record dating back to 1999, including past convictions for assault, theft and causing a disturbance.

He is also facing charges of assault with a weapon and uttering threats for two incidents in 2015 that are still before the courts.

Supportive messages

The lawyer who posted the video, Ravi Duhra, said he never intended for it to be evidence in a criminal prosecution. He wanted to spark a dialogue on racism.

"My objective was to bring awareness of the racism that I encountered that day," Duhra said. 

In the 10 days since, he said he's received an overwhelming number of emails and messages from across Canada.

All have been supportive, said Duhra.

"This isn't something I can put on a box and put on a shelf and not think about it. It just seems to be everybody wants to talk about it."

Durha said he respects the Crown's position to pursue the case and didn't want to comment further on the charges or investigation.

Police in Abbotsford and Hope are looking for Corbett. Anyone with information on his location is asked to contact their local police department.

With files from Mike Laanela, Jesse Johnston