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Nanaimo's pride crosswalk vandalized in possible hate crime

Last Updated Jul 6, 2021 at 10:54 am PDT

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after a pride crosswalk was vandalized over the weekend. Courtesy: Nanaimo RCMP
Summary

Beloved pride crosswalk vandalized in Nanaimo

The Nanaimo RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect

The crosswalk was painted with pride colours in 2016 to honour the LGBTQ2+ community

Another pride crosswalk has been vandalized in B.C., this time in Nanaimo.

The Nanaimo RCMP say it happened over the weekend at Bastion Street and Commercial Street.

“Considering that the crosswalk was painted to recognize the LGBTQ2+ community in Nanaimo, this incident is being treated as a hate-motivated mischief. If a suspect is positively identified and charges laid, this factor may be considered by the courts as an aggravating factor, ” said Nanaimo RCMP Const. Gary O’Brien.

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A still image was obtained of a man walking towards the crosswalk between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., carrying a can of paint and a paint brush. RCMP released the photo of the suspect, in hopes someone may recognize him.

Nanaimo RCMP crosswalk suspect photo
The suspect is described as white, in his mid 30’s, with short dark hair. He was wearing a black medical face mask, black shoes, light coloured shorts and a black t-shirt. Courtesy: Nanaimo RCMP

 

The crosswalk was painted to represent and honour members of the LGBTQ2+ community back in 2016.

It’s not the first incident connected to pride crosswalks in recent days.  Last week, someone poured white paint on the iconic Vancouver crosswalk in the city’s West End.

Last year, a freshly painted crosswalk in West Vancouver was defaced with tire marks. A suspect in that case was later identified, according to police.

If anyone has information on this incident, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

With files from Sonia Aslam