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Man faces charges but not for hate crime after Southwood confrontation

A man has been charged after an incident in southwest Calgary last week that was initially investigated as a hate crime. 

Now charged with one count of assault and one count of uttering threats, he is scheduled to next appear in court on Nov. 30.

The investigation began after the Calgary Police Service (CPS) received a report from a woman about a confrontation at the Southwood Corner shopping centre last Friday.

After honking at her in the parking lot, a man got out of the vehicle and rushed toward her “aggressively gesturing” and making punching motions in front of her face, police said.

The initial police news release said the man verbally threatened to kill her because of what he assumed to be her religion. 

Police said Tuesday that after further investigation involving district officers and CPS’s hate-crime prevention team, the alleged actions did not meet the threshold for a hate crime. Instead, the event has been classified as a hate incident. 

“It was determined that although the accused allegedly made hate-based comments, it does not appear these were the motivation behind the actions that led to the offences being committed,” police said in a statement.

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