Windsor

Police have charged 18-year-old Windsor man in vandalism, property damage to trans wellness group

Windsor police have arrested and charged an 18-year-old Windsor man following three acts of property damage against a transgender wellness group. 

Three incidents took place within one week in February

Executive director of WE Trans Support, Alexander Reid, says he arrived to the office to in February to find the window had been broken. (Submitted by Alexander Reid )

Windsor police have arrested and charged an 18-year-old Windsor man following three acts of property damage against a transgender wellness group. 

In February, Trans Wellness Ontario — formerly known as W.E. Trans Support — filed three reports to Windsor police regarding homophobic and racist vandalism, along with property damage.

"We hope this returns a sense of safety and some peace to the community members who might have felt afraid or concerned by these acts," Trans Wellness Ontario executive director Alexander Reid told CBC News Friday. 

The space, located in Windsor's South Walkerville neighbourhood, was undergoing renovations when the damage occurred. One incident involved a brake drum smashing the organization's front window

Windsor police's morality unit investigated and labelled the acts as hate crimes in a news release. 

Reid says he hopes the arrest brings some peace to the community. (Talish Zafar/CBC)

In an updated news release Friday, police said that they identified a suspect during their investigations and got a search warrant. 

The suspect was arrested Wednesday and charged with three counts of mischief under $5,000. Police said they are still looking into whether there will be charges related to hate motivated crimes. 

At the time of the property damage, members of Windsor-Essex's LGBTQ community told CBC News that they felt "disheartened" and "scared." 

"It's upsetting to know people take time out of their day and they take time to do something that's just an expression of hate and an expression of ignorance," Reid told CBC News in February. 

Now, he said he hopes the arrest and charges send a message to others that this sort of behaviour won't be tolerated. 

"I hope it does create some sort of deterrent for future incidents," he said. "We're hopeful that this is an isolated incident." 

As for whether he believes the person should also be charged with a hate motivated crime, Reid said he understands its difficult to prove and his community is just happy that there has been some type of "justice." 

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