Calgary

Calgary police investigate possible gay bashing

Calgary police say they are investigating the claim of a man who says he was attacked over the weekend because he is gay.

Victim says he was assaulted because he was gay

Calgary police say they are talking to a man who says he was attacked over the weekend. 1:43

Calgary police say they are investigating the claim of a man who says he was attacked over the weekend because he is gay.

The attack took place near 14th Street and 11th Avenue southwest last Sunday at around 3 a.m. MT.

A hate crime co-ordinator is involved in the investigation, but police say it's too soon to determine a motive.

"We are investigating this as an assault and as a part of that investigation we're trying to determine the motivation, which potentially could be hate — absolutely," said Sgt. Bill Dodd.

He says hate crimes are especially troubling.

"If a person is targeted for who they are, not what they've done, then anybody in that community is a potential victim," he said.

"And we understand why that is so upsetting to the community and we want to make sure that we get the reports so we can hold people accountable and ... let people know it is unacceptable."

Only 10 per cent of hate crimes reported, say police

In 2012, there were four assaults in Calgary that police determined were motivated by someone's sexual orientation.

But Dodd says only 10 per cent of hate crimes get reported.

"One of the things we really want to encourage is to report and we understand some of the reasons people may not want to, but we encourage them that we're not going to judge," said Dodd. 

"We take it seriously and we use every lead that we can, as we would with any other assault."  

Calvin Campbell, with Pride at Work Canada, says many in the LGBT community deal with hate on a daily basis.

"It's not always going to get to the level of an assault, often it's hateful language thrown out," he said.