Saturday, October 11, 2008

Teen jailed after 'racial attack'

The Calgary Sun

CALGARY -- The suspect in an allegedly race-motivated attack on a Japanese tourist was denied bail yesterday.

Youth court Judge Richard O'Gorman said surveillance video in which an apparent member of the white supremacist group Aryan Guard sprints after the woman was enough to convince him to detain the accused.

"To me the video was quite compelling," said O'Gorman of footage in which a male smashes a beer bottle on the ground before chasing after the victim in a downtown Calgary alley.

The 25-year-old victim was repeatedly kicked in the attack, which was not caught on tape.

Crown prosecutor Karuna Ramakrishnan had sought the teen's detention for what she says is a hate crime.

Ramakrishnan noted the accused's friend, who gave a statement to police, said members of the Aryan Guard target ethnic victims.

"He does indicate that members of the group ... go around beating up minorities and that is certainly the motivation the Crown is alleging," Ramakrishnan said of the friend, who was present during the assault.

Defence lawyer Jim Conway, who asked that his client be released on strict conditions, said the accused's beliefs should not be a factor in deciding bail.

"The young person's character is not at issue," Conway said of his 17-year-old client.

"There's some concern about the young person's beliefs ... but that is not a relevant factor," he said.

"The allegation of facts make no reference to any suggestion there was any motivation behind this incident."

The teen was arrested Sept. 3 in connection with a July 26 attack of a woman who had just left an 8 Ave. S.W. nightclub.

Her assailant had jump-kicked her in the head from behind and then kicked her some more while she was on the ground, leaving her bruised.

The accused is charged with assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon -- steel-toed combat boots were allegedly used in the attack.

At the commencement of the bail hearing last month, lead investigator Const. Ed Perkins testified he arrested the accused wearing steel-toed and soled heavy boots with red laces.

Perkins said Aryan Guard members wear white laces, but don red ones if they've drawn blood or shown a willingness to do so for the cause.

The case returns to court next week.


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