A Hamilton man is being investigated for a possible hate crime after a video circulated in which he tells another man, "I would kill your children."
The video takes place in the parking lot of a Walmart Supercentre, according to Patryk Laszczuk, who posted it to Facebook and YouTube, and later spoke to media including The Toronto Star. He says the video was sent to him by a co-worker, the man in the video who appears to be threatened, and recorded by the man's wife. The couple does not want to be identified and has declined media interviews.
UPDATE: The Hamilton Police Service has confirmed Dale Robertson, 47, of Stoney Creek has been charged with threatening death, dangerous driving, and failing to remain at the scene of an accident. The investigation is being forwarded to the Hate Crime Unit. Robertson was released and will appear again in Hamilton court on Aug. 23. The police say the victim in the incident "received minor injuries and has been medically cleared."
According to the Star, Laszczuk's unnamed coworker said the encounter started over a parking spot on Friday afternoon. Laszczuk told CBC News the man's wife started recording on her phone as things grew more heated.
Warning: This video contains offensive language.
In the video, the man in the pickup truck appears to hit the person holding the camera, although it's unclear what has happened. The two men continue to yell at each other.
"You want me to go back to my country? I'm a Canadian citizen," the man says to the driver.
"Show me! Prove it! I don't believe you," the man replies, adding "You don't sound like a Canadian citizen" in a taunting imitation of the other man's accent.
Laszczuk told CBC News that his co-worker and his wife are originally from India, although both are Canadian citizens who have been here for about eight years. CHCH reports that they recently moved to Hamilton from Brampton, and have a young daughter.
'I'm racist as f**k'
In the video, the man in the pickup truck also says: "I'm racist as f**k. I don't like you, I don't like her. I would kill your children first."
On Saturday, Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger said that the city's police chief told him the man had been charged with a hate crime.
I have spoken with the @HamiltonPolice Chief & he confirmed this is a hate crime & this person has been charged accordingly! After hitting this woman with his car he fled & has also been charged with failure to remain at the scene. #despicable #HamOnt #HamiltonForAll https://t.co/u5OElE3rcO— Fred Eisenberger (@FredEisenberger) July 28, 2018
The incident comes less than a week after a 50-year-old Toronto man was arrested for a "suspected hate-motivated crime." In that case, the suspect was caught on camera threatening a Muslim family at the city's downtown ferry terminal.
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The Hamilton Spectator identified the victim as female, although the paper pointed out that police have not officially connected the charges against the 47-year-old man to the racist confrontation at Walmart.
Ontario's Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath, who represents Hamilton Centre, said on Twitter that she's concerned such racist confrontations are becoming more common.
Like a lot of Ontarians, I'm concerned that incidents like this one seem to be on the rise. It's up to all of us to speak out against hate in our communities and stand up for the people subjected to it. #HamOnt https://t.co/ojrYsodvH0— Andrea Horwath (@AndreaHorwath) July 29, 2018
As CHCH pointed out, the confrontation happened on the city's first Newcomers' Day, an afternoon event that takes place at Hamilton City Hall with the stated goal of welcoming immigrants to Canada.
Earlier this month, a shopper at a Sobeys grocery store in London, Ont. appeared to be blocked from leaving by a stranger. He was allegedly pushed, and accused of being an "illegal alien."
London police responded to the scene but the shopper declined to lay charges. The force's hate crimes unit was reviewing the incident.