Police release photo of Calgary hate crime suspect

Calgary police released this photo of a suspect after a woman was hit in the head with a frozen water bottle while walking on the George C. King Bridge near the Bow River pathway. (Calgary police handout)

Calgary police provided updates on alleged hate crimes reported in recent weeks, releasing a photo of a suspect in one and saying an arrest has been made in another.

A woman and her son were at the Centre Street LRT station on May 30 when a man pushed the boy and began following and harassing the woman until a bystander intervened.

The woman felt they were targeted because of race. 

"As officers worked to find the suspect, a man matching the suspect description was taken into custody later that day on an unrelated matter," police said.

"The subsequent investigation found that the same man is believed to be responsible for the earlier assault and that he may also be responsible for at least four other incidents over May 30 and 31, against people believed to be targeted due to race or religion.

"Four incidents were reported to police while several others were observed in the evidence gathered on CCTV."

Carter Justin MacDonald, 31, is charged with two counts of assault, one count of causing a disturbance in public and breach of a probation order.

He is scheduled to appear in court on June 9.

Police also released photos of a woman believed responsible for a potential hate-motivated assault against an Asian woman.

A man and a woman were walking on the George C. King Bridge near the Bow River pathway about 8 p.m. on May 7 when a group of five teens riding bicycles rode past them.

As the group passed the couple, one of the youths allegedly threw a frozen water bottle at the couple, striking the woman in the head.

"Although none of these cases are connected, the one thing that binds them is the lasting impact these attacks have on the victims, their families and their communities," police said.

"It is incumbent upon all of us to step in when we see unacceptable behaviour by calling police and offering support to victims. Witness information and photos are assets in any investigation."

Police also continue to investigate a number of other offences — including a road rage incident — and a woman's allegation she was spit on and called a racial slur.

Any evidence of a hate motivation is considered by the courts as part of sentencing after a person is found guilty of a connected crime.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 403-266-1234 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.