Surrey musician beaten in racial attack
Five Surrey teens are facing charges for attacking a black musician and knocking him unconcious after he tried to stop them from harassing another passenger on a bus.
Michael Taylor, who is described as a gentle giant by his friends, was on his way home from a gig at a downtown hotel on Friday Night.
During the bus ride he stood up for a passenger who was being harassed by a group of people, according to his band mate Diane Lines.
"There were a group of five people. One of the members turned on Mike and started calling him racially charged words," she said.
As Taylor got off the bus near his Surrey home, he was attacked by the group.
"I guess he spoke to someone in the group and said, 'You don't know me. Why would you say that?' and at that point he was attacked from behind," she said.
Taylor fell down and lost consciousness and the bus driver phoned 911.
"He was unconscious pretty quickly and the police woke him up, but I don't think he knows how long he was unconscious," said Lines.
Teens facing charges
The five teens were arrested after the attack and are facing charges of assault causing bodily harm, Surrey RCMP spokesperson, Cpl. Drew Grainger said.
"These people are young people — age ranges of 14 to 18 — and they are all local youth. The investigation is ongoing," said Grainger.
"There have been some indications of this being a hate crime. Our investigators are still looking at that. It hasn't been conclusively ruled out," he said.
Taylor was treated for head and face injuries in hospital and is recovering at home, but he turned down requests to speak to the media.His guitar, which was stolen, has since been recovered.
The former Brit is a member of the Acoustic Groove trio, which is now organizing a fundraiser to help him out, and has played at Lilith Fair and with Canadian jazz legend Miles Black.