Calgary LRT graffiti a hate crime, say police with 'good footage' of 2 suspects

Calgary police say they have "clear" evidence that two men spray-painted messages urging violence against Muslims and Syrians at the Tuscany LRT station, and the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

Craftsman Collision in Royal Oak has since offered to repair Brian Durocher's vandalized car for free

Sgt. Eric Levesque, hate crimes coordinator with the Calgary Police Service, said two white men, believed to between 20 and 30 years old, were caught on CCTV spray painting the racist messages. (Stacee Barton/CBC)

Calgary police say they have "clear" evidence that two men spray-painted messages urging violence against Muslims and Syrians at the Tuscany LRT station, and the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

"It very clearly is hate-motivated mischief," said Sgt. Eric Levesque, hate crimes co-ordinator with the Calgary Police Service.

The vandalism occurred over the supper hour on Thursday evening, according to police, and the suspects caused "extensive damage" to both levels of the northwest C-Train station, in addition to five vehicles parked outside.

The often misspelled messages included swastikas and white-power symbols and some urged readers to "kill" Muslims and Syrians, making the incident a cut-and-dried hate crime in the eyes of investigators.

"The message here is very clear," Levesque said. "There's no ambiguity. These two men have made it very clear where they're coming from."

Total damage is estimated to be greater than $20,000, according to police.

Free repairs for vandalized car

Brian Durocher's car was one of those to be vandalized.

He described the graffiti as "disappointing" but said he has since received a nice surprise.

When he took his vehicle in for repairs the next day, the autobody shop — Craftsman Collision in Royal Oak — offered to do the work for free.

  • WARNING: An image of the car vandalism is below. It contains strong language.
Brian Durocher's car was hit with racist graffiti, and a local autobody shop offered to fix it for free. (CBC)

Durocher said he was a bit shocked at first but the gesture helped restore his belief that most Calgary residents are good people.

"That's what I'm used to: people helping one another," he said.

​'It affects a lot of people'

Levesque said police have "excellent" images from Calgary Transit's CCTV cameras in and around the station and are working to track the suspects down.

"It's a very abhorrent type of crime," Levesque said.

"What really makes these types of cases bad is that it affects a lot of people. If you think about how many people in Calgary — tens of thousands of people that might come from that community — really, potentially, they're all being impacted."

Cars and property were spray painted with racist statements Thursday at the Tuscany LRT station. (CBC)

The suspects are both described as white men in their 20s or 30s, each standing between 5-foot-10 and six feet in height.

One suspect had short, brown hair and was wearing a plaid button-up shirt with black pants, black runners and what looked like a green jacket. He was seen carrying a black duffel bag and a white recycling bag.

The other suspect is described as having a moustache and goatee. He was seen wearing a black tuque with black pants, a black sweatshirt and a blue winter jacket, and carrying a backpack.

Levesque said the investigation is still in its early stages and police have yet to decide whether to release the CCTV footage.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 403-266-1234 or to Calgary Crime Stoppers anonymously.​