Five youth are facing charges of aggravated assault after beating a local musician unconscious on the weekend.
Michael Taylor was bussing home from the Shangri-La Hotel in downtown Vancouver Friday night, when police believe he got into a verbal exchange with some the teens.
Several racial epithets were used by the youth toward Taylor, who is black. Taylor got off the bus at 74 Avenue and Scott Road, where he was punched and kicked unconscious.
“The victim was basically jumped from behind and sustained several punches and kicks to the head,” said RCMP Corp. Drew Grainger.
Investigators can’t say for sure that it was motivated by race, “but the N-word was exchanged on the bus,” Grainger said.
Taylor was treated for injuries and has been released from hospital.
Surrey RCMP said it’s unlikely that hate crime charges would be pursued.
“On the surface it doesn’t look like a hate crime,” Grainger said. “And the victim himself, I understand is coming forth saying he doesn’t believe this was motivated by race.”
For hate crime to be considered, race would have had to be considered a primary motive in the attack.
Police are likely going to recommend charges of aggravated assault, however, as of Monday, the recommendations hadn’t been forwarded to Crown.
The three males and two females from 14 to 18 years old are all from Surrey. Three of them are believed to be from the same family.