Justin Morissette had his leg broken after asking anti-gay street preachers to stop in Vancouver’s West End on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. (Justin Morissette/Twitter)

B.C. radio host left with broken leg after confrontation with anti-gay street preachers

Police say charges are being recommended and are investigating incident for hate crimes

Two men have been arrested after a B.C. radio host said he had his leg broken after a confrontation in Vancouver’s West End on Saturday (Aug. 22).

Justin Morissette, of Sportsnet 650, said he “stood up to anti-gay evangelical bullies in the West End this evening, and they purposefully broke my leg for the trouble.”

In a series of tweets, Morissette said the incident left him with metal plates in his leg after a surgery to repair the damage.

“I don’t know why I did this. It felt like the right thing to do and no one else would,” he said.

“I’m only tweeting about this because there have been too many instances of unchecked racism and during the pandemic, videos of people spewing hate while everyone just sits there and ignores it. Do not allow yourself to do that. That behavior is not welcome in our communities.”

A fundraiser has been set up by Morissette’s brother to help with recovery costs. As of Monday at noon, it had raised more than $11,700.

Vancouver police said they responded to a call at Thurlow Street and Davie Street, in the heart of Vancouver’s gay village, around 8 p.m. Saturday.

“A group of people using a microphone and amplifier were preaching about religion and anti-gay chants,” Sgt. Aaron Roed said in an email.

Roed said a person approached an individual in the group to ask them to stop the chants

“A disturbance ensued and the individual is suspected to have been thrown to the ground, where they unfortunately broke their leg.

Two men from the anti-gay chanting group were arrested and police are asking Crown to approve charges of aggravated assault and mischief.

Police are also investigating the possibility of a hate crime.

ALSO READ: Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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