The man who was filmed hurling racial slurs this month in an Abbotsford parking lot has been charged, but not for a hate crime.
Karry Vernon Corbett, 47, of Hope has been charged with two counts of assault, one count of uttering threats and one count of causing a disturbance.
Police have been unable to locate Corbett at this time and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said the charges stem from Corbett’s behaviour toward a 72-year-old parking attendant – which was not captured on video – and to the bystander who filmed Corbett.
The incident took place Friday, Oct. 21. Lawyer Ravi Duhra was returning from lunch to his job at RDM Lawyers at 33695 South Fraser Way when he saw an attendant handing a ticket to a double-parked pickup truck in a parking lot across the road.
Duhra heard words exchanged and a threat and went to take a picture of the truck’s licence plate. It was then that the truck’s passenger turned his ire on Duhra, who then began filming the interaction.
The man spewed numerous racial slurs at Duhra and told him to “Go back to f—— India.” The man returned to his truck, yelled “White power!” and thumped his chest before approaching Duhra, coming to within a couple of feet of him and continuing the racial abuse.
Duhra’s video was widely circulated online and drew international attention, with many calling for the man in the video to be charged with a hate crime.
However, MacDonald said in order for behaviour to qualify as a hate crime under the Criminal Code, an individual has to promote or publish statements that “incite hatred” against an “identifiable group” (those distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation).
“I think that it’s pretty difficult to say that anybody (witnessing the interaction) would be swayed by his comments,” MacDonald said.
He said although the man did not put his hands on either the parking attendant or Duhra, he was charged with two counts of assault for allegedly being “threatening in his manner.”
MacDonald said Corbett was also charged for allegedly verbally threatening the parking lot attendant, which Duhra did not capture on video, but which was based on witness statements.
According to the provincial court database, Corbett has several prior convictions for offences such as assault with intent to resist arrest, assaulting a peace officer, uttering threats, theft, mischief, breaking and entering, and breaching his conditions.
As well, he has two prior charges that are scheduled to start trial in November. One, for uttering threats in December 2015 in Hope, is slated to begin Nov. 9. The other, for assault with a weapon in May 2015 in Hope, is scheduled to start Nov. 14.
He was also charged on Sept. 1 of this year for driving while prohibited in Abbotsford.
MacDonald said that anyone who has information about Corbett’s whereabouts should contact their local police (604-859-5225 in Abbotsford).