Sikh brothers held for assaulting gay couple in Canada

Saturday, July 3, 2010

VANCOUVER - In a case that drew a lot of public attention in Canada, two Sikh brothers have been arrested for assaulting a gay couple here.

According to police, Parminder Bassi, 30, and Ravinder Bassi, 27, have been arrested for beating and bodily harming David Holtzman and his partner Peter Regier last month.

Since the attack has been attributed to the sexual orientation of the couple, police said they are treating it as a hate crime. The same-sex couple, who were attacked outside their home June 12, said the Indo-Canadian attackers made homophobic slurs against them.

As the two Indo-Canadian attackers eluded police for a week, Vancouver city police chief Jim Chu and Mayor Gregor Robertson held a news conference June 18 to release video footage of the attack. The footage helped police get tips from the public, leading to the arrest of the two brothers from their home in Richmond on the outskirts of Vancouver Thursday.

“The public responded in an incredible way. The investigators were able to identify these two men from the information that came in from the public,” a police spokesperson said after the arrest of the Indo-Canadian brothers.

“We left no stone unturned. The investigators worked non-stop over the last two weeks and it involved a lot of interviews, including interviews with the two accused,” the spokesperson told the local media.

While Parminder has been charged with two counts of assault causing bodily harm, Ravinder faces a single count of assault, police said. The brothers will appear in court July 5.

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