RCMP make progress in hot springs hate attack

  • Feb. 10, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Sam Smith, Black Press

RCMP are making progress locating assailant who viciously beat a gay man at St. Leon Hot Springs in December.

Nakusp RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Bryson Hill says police are currently following up on “a number of tips,” and believe they will have more details soon.

The attacker was originally believed to be vacationing in Revelstoke or Nakusp at the time, but police suspect he resides in Calgary.

He wouldn’t disclose the number of suspects they’re looking at, or where the investigation is heading.

“Let’s just leave it at we have people of interest that we’re looking at,” Hill said.

He could confirm he received both tips locally and from Alberta, where the attacker is rumoured to be from.

The incident took place on Dec. 29, around 8:30 p.m. at St. Leon Hot Springs located about 25 kilometres north of Nakusp on Highway 23.

The alleged hate crime happened after the victim and his partner disclosed to another man that they were gay.

After hearing that, the man who identified himself as “Terry” got out of the pool. He then said he was going to kill the two men.

The victim’s partner got out and ran into a nearby bush to hide, but the victim stayed.

“Unprovoked, he was viciously beaten as he begged for mercy,” Hill wrote in his original statement.

Police reported the victim was left alone in the snow, virtually unconscious and suffering cuts and bruises all over his body.

The victim couldn’t even remember the attack he was beaten so badly, Hill added.

Terry is described as a Caucasian male standing at about 6 feet tall (180 cm), is around 44-years-old with a stalky, muscular build. Police say he had defined muscles and a short flat-top hairstyle. He is also said to have a tattoo of a bird silhouette on his chest about two-inches in diameter.

Terry is believed to be from the Calgary area and have been visiting Nakusp or Revelstoke.

If you have any information on the identity of the suspect, you can call the local police department or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.