Brampton man accused of hate-motivated assault

Brace yourself because this one is going to upset you.


It’s ugly and it happened, not in Charlottesville or Seattle, but in our community.

The sick and vile nature of racism, and the racists who participate in it, knows no borders. It turns out violent hate crimes are not just an issue south of the border but right here in the Greater Toronto Area, too.

As statues of Confederate generals were being torn down in the U.S. and people were debating what President Donald Trump should or shouldn’t have said, we had a frightening alleged race-based attack in Brampton Sunday afternoon.

“Male arrested for hate-motivated criminal offence” was the headline in the Peel Regional Police news release.

And the story, which didn’t seem to get much news coverage, doesn’t get any better.

A black man was standing on his own driveway in the Centre St.-Williams Parkway area of Brampton when police say a passing motorist stopped his car and confronted him.

Unprovoked, the motorist spewed racial slurs at the man and attacked the victim, according to investigators.

Sgt. Josh Colley added the beating was so bad “the man received some very serious injuries including terrible facial damage.”

But in addition, it was what the man yelled during the attack that shocked and horrified neighbours.

“‘F’ bombs were flying everywhere,” said one person close to the case. “It was so disturbing.”

Officers from Peel’s 22 division arrived at the scene quickly, as did paramedics who were trying to help this poor victim in a pool of blood.

Colley said officers made an arrest and have charged Matthew Wight, 28, with assault causing bodily harm and breach of recognizance.

Wight made a court appearance Monday. Since he was before the courts already on criminal charges, Wight is being held in custody until a future date.

The victim is said to still be suffering and in a lot of pain. But that pain goes behind the physical damage. This attack allegedly happened because he was black.

In peaceful, multicultural Brampton of all places.

If the allegations prove true, it’s pathetic.

And while nothing has been proven in court, police are moving forward with their belief that this was a criminal act motivated by racial intolerance.

“If convicted of a criminal offence and it is proven to be motivated by hate or bias, higher penalties may be imposed by the judge during sentencing,” say police.

Officers were as shaken by this incident as was the victim, his family and his neighbours.

“It’s just not acceptable,” said Colley.

Not acceptable there, here or anywhere.

I told you that you would be upset.

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