Police have issued a Summons for an individual in relation to a hate-motivated incident that occurred at T&T Supermarket earlier this month.
On Sunday, July 5, the alleged suspect attended the grocery store in the area of Central Parkway West and Grand Park Drive in Mississauga, Ontario.
Peel Police say the man was not wearing a mask and was asked by employees to put on a face mask, as is the current store policy.
The man became agitated and began yelling, “making negative and disparaging comments regarding the heritage of staff members,” law enforcement said.
After repeatedly being asked to leave, the man eventually exited the store and didn’t return, according to officials.
Investigators have identified the man as 48-year-old John McCash of Mississauga.
A Summon has been issued for the offence of Causing a Disturbance, and he’s being asked by law enforcement to attend a police station in the Region of Peel.
This incident has had a profound impact on not only the victim, but also the community. @PeelPolice investigators have worked hard to identify John McCash & I urge him to speak with legal counsel & make arrangements to speak with our investigators
— Chief Nishan Duraiappah (@ChiefNish) July 16, 2020
“Hate crime incidents impact our community, creating a ripple effect. It can increase feelings of vulnerability, anxiety, and fear, not only on the individual who has directly been victimized but, as we have seen with this incident, on the broader community,” said Peel Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah.
“Reporting hate crime is essential to stopping these incidents; we are committed to pursuing these incidents.”
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Footage of the customer refusing to wear a mask and hurling racial slurs at employees circulated on social media last week.
The video, filmed by another customer, and shared on social media, catches several phrases used by the customer to challenge the effectiveness of face protection, and insult staff based on their heritage.
“You guys can all wear your masks, and you can all die … you can all get sick, because when you wear the mask, you get sick. It’s science,” he is heard saying.
“This is a lie. This is a communist, socialist lie. Where do we get our Wuhan communist virus? From China. From you guys. Communist virus.”
The man is also heard telling an employee: “you’re as Canadian as my butt.”
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During incidents such as this one, the Reassurance Protocol is enacted by law enforcement’s Equity and Inclusion Bureau, which aims to provide the victim with necessary support.
Police say they have direct contact with the victim, and work with them to ensure there are no additional safety concerns.
Anyone with information can contact 11 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau at 905-453-2121 ext. 1133. Information may also be left anonymously by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).