Hamilton police charge man in 'hate-crime incident' after video posted on social media

A Hamilton man has been arrested following what police are calling a "hate-crime incident" and faces charges of uttering threats. 

Police are asking victims or witnesses to come forward

Hamilton police say they believe two separate hate-crime incidents are connected. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

A Hamilton man has been arrested following what police are calling a "hate-crime incident" and faces charges of uttering threats. 

Officers say a video was uploaded to social media showing the driver of a blue pick-up truck "making hateful comments towards an unknown person."

Hamilton police Const. Krista-Lee Ernst says investigators used that video to identify a man, who they believe is connected to a separate hate-crime incident dating back to April 1.

Police arrested and charged a 27-year-old Hamilton man with uttering threats in connection the April incident, which they say happened in the area of Upper Centennial Parkway and Rymal Road East. He'll appear in court on Thursday, July 29. 

As no one has reported the events captured in the video to police, Const. Ernst said, there are no charges associated. 

"We have not had any report, and we have not had any identifying factors in the vehicle that the video was taken from. And we don't investigate without a complainant, but we've looked into it as much as we possibly can," she said. 

Two videos posted to Twitter by the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion show a man behind the wheel of a pick-up truck on a neighbourhood street. Police say it was the first of the two that assisted their investigation into the April 1 incident.

In that video the man in the truck tells the person recording to take a picture of his face and "cut [him] off again." The person asks the driver to repeat what he said before the camera was rolling. 

"What, go back to your own country?" the man in the truck says. 

Text on the video says the man called used the n-word multiple times in an "act of road rage."

In the second clip, the man is seen backing up his truck. 

"You ain't the right colour, bud," the man in the blue truck says. 

Police ask witnesses, victims to come forward

Police believe this incident happened in upper Stoney Creek. The service re-tweeted the video earlier this week.

Const. Ernst said the events were "very similar in nature," involved a vehicle, and used the same "hate-related slurs."

Officers are urging people to contact them with information. 

"If this is a pattern, we want to have any victims come forward, or witnesses, to any incidents," Const. Ernst said. 

People may contact Hamilton Police hate crime Det. Fabiano Mendes at (905) 546-5678. They may also anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit tips online.