RCMP planning charges against hot springs hate attack suspect

By Sam Smith – Black Press

Nakusp RCMP have identified the suspect in the St. Leon Hot Springs attack and are gathering all sides of the story before proceeding with charges.

Since the suspect has not been charged with anything, his identity hasn’t been released.

However, Cpl. Bryson Hill confirmed it was the man described from Calgary who was arrested thanks to the public.

“Just tips from the public is what led us to him,” Cpl. Hill said. “He was in Calgary when we tracked him down, and I really don’t want to say much more.”

If all goes well, Cpl. Hill expects the police to proceeding with charges within a month.

The attack, which police are calling a hate crime, took place on Dec. 29 around 8:30 p.m. at St. Leon Hot Springs, 25 kilometres north of Nakusp on Highway 23.

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

After they told the suspect, who has only been called “Terry,” he was said to leave the pool and walk over to his two friends who were in the other side of the spring and say he was going to kill the two men.

Police say the victim’s partner left the pool to run into a nearby bush and hid, but the victim stayed.

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

Police report the victim was left alone in the snow, nearly unconscious with cuts and bruises all over his body.

Cpl. Hill said the victim couldn’t remember the attack.

The suspect was described to police as a Caucasian male standing at about 6 feet tall (180 cm). He’s said to be nearly 44-years-old with a stalky, muscular build. He is also said to have defined muscles and a short flat-top hairstyle, and a tattoo of a bird silhouette on his chest about two-inches in diameter.