Gay bashing investigated by B.C. police
Police in southeast B.C. are investigating an assault at a remote hot spring as a possible hate crime.
Two men who had made their way on skis to the St. Leon's hot spring, 25 kilometres north of Nakusp, told police they were in one of the pools when two men and a woman joined them on Dec. 29, RCMP Cpl. Bryson Hill said Tuesday.
The group socialized for hours before the skiers revealed they were a gay couple and that's when they were attacked, said Hill.
"Suddenly and apparently without any provocation [a man] got up out of the hot pool and stated to his friends he was going to kill these two men," said Hill.
The man — who the couple told police had introduced himself as Terry — then assaulted one of the gay men after his partner ran into the bush, police said.
Suspect possibly from Calgary
"[He] beat him to where he had bruises and cuts over most of his body," said Hill. "The male begged for mercy as he was being beaten, but it didn't really seem to help and eventually Terry left the male laying in the snow just in his swim shorts, essentially unconscious."
Homophobia is the suspected motive for the attack, said Hill.
The victim said the man who beat him had previously mentioned he was from Calgary, about 300 kilometres east of where the alleged crime took place.
The attacker is described as about six-feet tall, in his 40s and had silhouette of a bird tattooed on his chest.
With files from the CBC's Jackie Sharkey and The Canadian Press