“Possible hate-motivated” assaults outside of a Vaughan liquor store last weekend were likely initiated over a suspected Bud Light purchase, police say.
York Regional Police issued a news release about the incident, which happened at around 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
A man and a woman were allegedly accosted by several males outside of a store located in the Jane Street and Major Mackenzie Drive West area.
“One of the suspects commented on the male victim’s choice of alcohol and uttered anti-homosexual derogatory slurs as he approached the victim,” police said in a news release.
A police spokesperson told Motorcycle accident toronto today the suspect commented on what they thought was a Bud Light purchase.
“But it wasn’t. He actually didn’t have Bud Light,” the spokesperson said, later noting the recent controversy surrounding the beer brand.
“I guess there were some rainbow colours on the cans and so it was initiated that way … Then upon further determination as to what they purchased, they still weren’t happy with that. Let’s just put it that way. And the insults continued.”
A brand deal between Bud Light and transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney triggered loud anti-trans backlash online earlier this year. The deal, which saw Mulvaney’s face printed on a single signature Blue can, sounded numerous calls for LGBTQ2 opposition to destroy their beer stockpiles and potentially boycott the brand entirely.
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After one of the suspects approached the male victim, a female victim then stepped between them and was assaulted, before two more suspects got involved and both victims were assaulted, with the male being knocked to the ground, police said.
A bystander then intervened and the suspects fled in a black Nissan Rogue with the Ontario licence plate CLHL733, police said.
The female, a 27-year-old woman, had to go to hospital to be treated for her injuries, officers said.
The 26-year-old man suffered minor injuries and didn’t need medical attention.
Suspected Bud Light purchase likely led to altercation outside Vaughan liquor store: police
Police released an image of one of the suspects, described as a 25 to 35-year-old man with a slim build, short buzz-cut hair, a tattoo on his jawline and tattoos on both hands.
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He was wearing a black Adidas jacket with white stripes on the arms, blue jeans, as well as black and white sneakers with orange on the heels, police said.
The second suspect was described as a male with black hair and a full black beard who was wearing a red Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal soccer jersey, officers said.
A detailed description wasn’t released for the third suspect, who police said is a male.
“It is believed there was a crowd of people nearby at the time of this incident. Any witnesses who have not yet spoken to investigators are asked to come forward,” police said.
“Anyone who has information about the identity and/or whereabouts of the suspects are urged to contact police as soon as possible.”
— With files from Sarah Do Couto
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