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Man charged in alleged hate-motivated assault at city bus stop

Calgary police have charged a man after an alleged assault and racist tirade that included biting the victim’s hand.

On Jan. 13 around 5 p.m., officers were called to a bus stop in the 900 block of 17 Avenue SW.

A woman waiting at the bus shelter was approached by a man who slapped the phone out of her hands, police said. According to police, the man bit the woman on the hand and yelled racist slurs at her.

The man continued until three bystanders intervened and took the woman to safety.

Once police arrived at the scene, they took one man into custody.

Michael Grant Williams, 36, of Calgary is being charged with one count each of assault and failure to comply with a release order.

The CPS consulted with their hate-crime unit and it’s being treated as hate-motivated, they said.

“Everyone has the right to feel safe in their community. There is no place for hate in our city and we want to thank the bystanders for coming to the aid of the victim,” said Constable Matt Messenger from the Hate Crimes Prevention Unit.

“We know that hate-motivated incidents are unfortunately under-reported and want to remind all Calgarians to report these incidents so they can be thoroughly investigated and those responsible can be held accountable.”

Hate motivation does not result in additional charges, police said. If a judge decides that hate was a motivating factor, during sentencing it could influence a potential sentence, CPS said.