Saturday, July 03, 2010

Four Men Charged in Two Separate Anti-Gay Attacks in Vancouver

July 2, 2010

[Vancouver, B.C.] Vancouver police announced charges Thursday against four men in two separate attacks on gays in Vancouver’s downtown core in recent weeks. Both attacks are being investigated as possible hate crimes, Const. Jana McGuinness said. She said brothers Parminder (Peter) and Ravinder (Robbie) Bassi were arrested at their Richmond, B.C., home Wednesday and charged with assault causing bodily harm in connection with the June 12 beating of David Holtzman and partner Peter Regier. Both victims, who were attacked outside their condo, suffered concussions, cuts and bruises.

And McGuinness said Vancouver police officers nabbed two other suspected gay bashers after at an assault early Thursday. She said a 30-year-old man was walking with friends around 2:45 a.m., when they passed a group of men and women on the sidewalk. “Suddenly, one of the men from the group turned and verbally confronted the victim. Words were exchanged and without warning, the victim was allegedly punched in the face by his attacker, knocking him to the ground,” McGuinness said. “As he lay on the ground, the blows continued and a second man allegedly joined in, repeatedly punching the victim.” She said “disturbing comments were made about the sexual orientation of the man as he was being punched.”

Two 21-year-old Vancouver men, Alexandre Tchernychev and Aaron Alexander Hahn, have been charged with assault causing bodily harm. Neither man has a criminal record, though McGuinness said Vancouver police have had dealings with both. “The victim suffered facial injuries.” McGuinness said. McGuinness said it is critical that the public continue to report hate crimes and to aid police in their investigations.

In the Holtzman-Regier case, McGuinness said police got many tips from the public, especially after video footage of the suspects was released June 18. Peter Bassi, 30, is charged with two counts of assault causing bodily harm, while younger brother Robbie, 27, is facing a single count. The brothers will appear in Vancouver community court July 5, McGuinness said. Source: