It didn’t take Hamilton Police long to arrest the man they believe to be responsible for an ugly incident on an HSR bus Monday, but then again, most perpetrators don’t livestream their offense. Wednesday Hamilton Police announced they have arrested a 41-year-old male after a hate incident on a Hamilton bus earlier this week. Tuesday, Hamilton Police became aware of the posting of the hate incident posted on social media.
The incident is believed to have taken place on Monday, August 1, 2022, on an HSR bus, in the area of Gage Park at the Lawrence Road entrance. The content of the video shows a male. who also appears to be operating the camera, making transphobic and homophobic slurs towards two people. The male also made threats towards the individuals and exited the bus at Gage Park on Lawrence Road.
41-year-old Christopher Pretula from Hamilton has been charged with Assault and Utter Threat.
The incident has been reviewed by the Hate Crime Unit and an application will be made to classify the incident as a Hate Crime offence because of the perception the victims belong to an identified group. A hate crime is a criminal offence committed against a person or property which is motivated by hate/bias or prejudice based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or any other similar factor.
The incident was reported to police via the Hamilton Police online reporting tool by a third party in another province as well as a local media outlet.
Investigators are aware there may be additional witnesses that recorded the bus incident and encourage anyone with video to come forward. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Division 2 Criminal Investigation Division at 905-546-2930.
To provide information anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit anonymous tips online at http://www.crimestoppershamilton.com.