02/24/2014 03:34 EST | Updated 04/26/2014 05:59 EDT

Spencer Chandra Herbert's office site of homophobic attack

A man has been arrested following an alleged assault on an office assistant of a member of B.C.'s legislative assembly.

The Vancouver Police Department says that on Friday morning a 53-year-old intoxicated man entered the constituency office of Spencer Chandra Herbert, the openly gay MLA of Vancouver-West End, and became involved in a dispute with a staff member.

In a statement released Monday, police said the man was asked to leave. Before doing so, however, he allegedly "damaged a door inside the office and punched the employee in the face."

Police say they arrived a few minutes later and found the man standing on a sidewalk, down the street from Chandra Herbert's office. The man was arrested without incident.

Incident being investigated as hate crime

Chandra Herbert says the man was apparently angry about a rainbow flag that hangs in the front window of his office, and about another rainbow flag that is displayed in a window at the West End Community Centre.

"My assistant is recovering from the incident, but we are both shaken and shocked that someone felt it acceptable to express their hateful views by assaulting a government worker and damaging government property,” he said in a written statement Monday.

"This attack will only encourage me to redouble efforts to ensure our government is taking all steps to support our province’s diverse communities and stand against hate." 

The 53-year-old man was been released without charges, and is expected to appear in court April 4.

The incident is now being investigated by the Vancouver Police Hate Crimes Unit.