York Region police have laid charges after a man was injured and taken to hospital Sunday following an alleged hate-motivated assault in Newmarket.
Police responded to a call just after 12:25 p.m. regarding an incident at a McDonald’s drive through at 17770 Yonge St., at Dawson Manor Boulevard.
When officers arrived, they found a 24-year-old man suffering from minor injuries.
Police said a man was sitting in his vehicle, which has a rainbow logo on it, in the parking lot when a man drove by and allegedly yelled a homophobic slur.
The 24-year-old confronted the man in the drive-through and an altercation ensued.
The suspect hit the victim and during the altercation, broke the victim’s mobile phone, police said. The suspect then left the area.
Officers identified the suspect and he was arrested at his home a short time later.
According to a police spokesperson, the nature of the verbal exchange between the two men was concern to investigate the matter as a potential hate crime.
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“York Regional Police will always respond, and lay charges where warranted, for behaviour that targets someone solely because of their sexual orientation or any other reason that is motivated by prejudice or hate,” police chief Eric Jolliffe said in a statement.
“Such incidents are unacceptable and have no place in our community.”
A video was posted on Facebook by a man claiming to be the victim, Jacob Montgomery Gal.
According to the post, an unidentified driver emerged from his vehicle, through the passenger door, and confronted Gal after noticing he was being recorded on a cellphone.
In the video, the alleged victim challenges the driver to repeat comments he allegedly made moments earlier.
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A heated exchange ensues and the man making the video appears to have his phone knocked to the ground at which point, Gal alleged, he was assaulted.
The other man was arrested.
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No weapons were used in the incident, police said.
Umair Ahmed Qurashi, 33, of East Gwillimbury, is charged with assault and mischief. He is scheduled to appear in Newmarket court Nov. 22.
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