Man charged after yelling racial slurs at Asian woman in Guelph

After originally saying there were no grounds to charge a man who yelled racial slurs at an Asian woman, Guelph police now say that a man is facing charges.

According to police, he was arrested Sunday morning after information about his involvement in other incidents came to light.

A recent complaint against the man was made by Aaliyah Subang. She told CTV News in an interview that she was walking her dog on March 28 near Goodwin Drive and Beaver Meadow Drive when a man approached her and launched into a racist rant.

In a release sent out by police following the incident, officials said there were no grounds for charges in relation to the incident.

"While racist comments are seen as an aggravating factor when combined with criminal activity, such as making death threats, racist comments on their own are not illegal under the Criminal Code of Canada," the release from police said in part. "There are two sections of the Code specifically dealing with hate. Section 319 (1) addresses the public incitement of hatred where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace, while Section 319 (2) addresses wilful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group."

Although, police said that they did identify and warn the man that he could face criminal charges if it persisted.

Subang said later that week she saw the man again and he gave her the finger. She said she reported the incident to police once again.

On Tuesday, police said they were able to identify additional incidents involving the man in the city that led to his arrest.

"On one hand, I'm super grateful for the Guelph Police Service for what they were doing and helping me out with this incident," Subang told CTV Kitchener on Tuesday afternoon. "But, at the same time, I was kind of sad because for me it was like 'Well when will it be enough?' Like, why does somebody have to get hurt or injured for something to actually be done."

Police said the man allegedly followed another Asian female home on March 29 in the same neighbourhood, and then stood in front of the house making animal sounds. Charges were not laid in that incident.

Last December, the same man allegedly attended a business on Speedvale Avenue East where he got into a verbal confrontation with the manager after refusing to wear a mask.

A 21-year-old Guelph man has since been charged with criminal harassment and causing a disturbance. He is set to appear in a Guelph court July 20.